Experimental Leishmania major infection Suppresses HIV-1 DNA vaccine induced cellular immune response

Tara M. Robinson, Robin Nelson, David Artis, Phillip Scott, Jean D. Boyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The AIDS epidemic in the developing world represents a major global crisis and an effective vaccine is imperative. However, many parasites are common in developing countries and can result in a state of chronic immune activation that is polarized towards a Th2 profile and which can potentially impair responses to vaccines or other infectious challenges. In this study we demonstrate that experimental Leishmania major infection of BALB/c mice inhibits responses to a DNA-based HIV-1 gag vaccine. L. major infection in BALB/c results in a polarized Th2 immune response. In this study naïve BALB/c mice immunized with the HIV-1 gag DNA vaccine mounted a cellular immune response against the vaccine antigen, HIV-1 gag. CD8+ T lymphocytes were able to respond in vitro to HIV-1 gag stimulation and secrete interferon (IFN)-γ. However, L. major-infected, vaccinated BALB/c mice had a significantly reduced number of IFN-γ-producing CD8+ T cells following in vitro stimulation with gag antigen. These data suggest that parasitic infection, which results in a Th2 profile, reduces the efficacy of DNA vaccines that are designed to induce antiviral CD8+ T cell responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-188
Number of pages4
JournalCells Tissues Organs
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA vaccines
  • Hiv-1 vaccines
  • Leishmania major
  • Th2 response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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