The effect of current Schistosoma mansoni infection on the immunogenicity of a candidate TB vaccine, MVA85A, in BCG-vaccinated adolescents: An open-label trial.
Wajja A., Kizito D., Nassanga B., Nalwoga A., Kabagenyi J., Kimuda S., Galiwango R., Mutonyi G., Vermaak S., Satti I., Verweij J., Tukahebwa E., Cose S., Levin J., Kaleebu P., Elliott AM., McShane H.
INTRODUCTION: Helminth infection may affect vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy. Adolescents, a target population for tuberculosis booster vaccines, often have a high helminth burden. We investigated effects of Schistosoma mansoni (Sm) on the immunogenicity and safety of MVA85A, a model candidate tuberculosis vaccine, in BCG-vaccinated Ugandan adolescents. METHODS: In this phase II open label trial we enrolled 36 healthy, previously BCG-vaccinated adolescents, 18 with no helminth infection detected, 18 with Sm only. The primary outcome was immunogenicity measured by Ag85A-specific interferon gamma ELISpot assay. Tuberculosis and schistosome-specific responses were also assessed by whole-blood stimulation and multiplex cytokine assay, and by antibody ELISAs. RESULTS: Ag85A-specific cellular responses increased significantly following immunisation but with no differences between the two groups. Sm infection was associated with higher pre-immunisation Ag85A-specific IgG4 but with no change in antibody levels following immunisation. There were no serious adverse events. Most reactogenicity events were of mild or moderate severity and resolved quickly. CONCLUSIONS: The significant Ag85A-specific T cell responses and lack of difference between Sm-infected and uninfected participants is encouraging for tuberculosis vaccine development. The implications of pre-existing Ag85A-specific IgG4 antibodies for protective immunity against tuberculosis among those infected with Sm are not known. MVA85A was safe in this population. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02178748.