Keywords: AIDS; Vaccine; HIV; Reagents
Programme EVA CFAR: An extensive and valuable inventory of over 1900 ‘state of the art’ reagents, most of which are not available commercially, has been built up at the CFAR repository at NIBSC.
Provision of reagents: The provision of key reagents is a highly effective way of supporting and enhancing vaccine research and one where European added-value has true meaning and can be readily demonstrated. During the second year, over 4 900 reagents were distributed to 572 scientists, a 20% increase over year one.
Pre-clinical research: High priority has continued to be given to the support of pre-clinical vaccine studies with the SIV-macaque model, through the provision of reagents and directed support for the European Network for Vaccine Evaluation in Primates (ENVEP).
SHIV (HIV-SIV) chimaeras for vaccine challenge experiments: The development of SHIV chimaeric viruses carrying HIV envelopes from a range of strains has continued to be supported, so that HIV vaccines designed for man can be evaluated in the macaque model.
DNA vaccines: Support has been provided for the development and production of a variety of DNA vaccines using different genes and expression systems to achieve a reproducible and durable immune response.
Recombinant viral vectors: Programme EVA has supported the development of vaccines based on recombinant viral vectors such as the modified vaccinia Ankara and Semliki forest virus vectors, and has prepared batches of immunogens for collaborative vaccine studies.
Immunological and virological reagents for vaccine studies: Reagents, such as recombinant proteins, peptides and viral isolates, are provided by EVA for a wide range of immunological and virological studies.
Preparation of vaccines and reagents for use in clinical studies: As well as supporting preclinical evaluation of vaccine strategies, the programme is becoming increasingly involved in the support of clinical studies in man through the provision of key reagents. EuroVac is being provided with overlapping HIV-1 subtype C gag and nef peptides for analysing the cellular immune responses of vaccines.