One of the promising approaches for designing HIV vaccines is construction of synthetic polyepitope HIV-1 immunogen using a wide range of conservative T- and B-cell epitopes of the main virus antigens. In theory this approach helps cope with HIV-1 antigenic variability, focuses immune responses on protective determinants and enables to exclude from the vaccine compound adverse regions of viral proteins that can induce autoantibodies or antibodies enhancing infectivity of virus. The paper presents the experience of our team in development of artificial polyepitope HIV-1 immunogens, which can induce both a humoral response, and responses of cytotoxic (CD8 + CTL) and helpers (CD4 + Th) T-cells. The design of HIV-immunogens has been done using our original software, TEpredict and PolyCTLDesigner. We describe development of the candidate HIV-1/AIDS vaccine – CombiHIVvac, which included two artificial polyepitope immunogens TBI and TCI for stimulating humoral and cellular responses. The results of the specific activity and safety of CombiHIVvac vaccine, obtained during preclinical and clinical trials, are presented.
Part of the book: Advances in HIV and AIDS Control