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null HIV preventive vaccines


The HIV preventive vaccines group was founded in 2002 at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, when Dr Joan Joseph joined the existing AIDS Research Group, led by Dr Josep Mª Gatell. The experience of Dr Joseph in the use of BCG as a vaccine vector was the basis of the research group. Presently, there are two main ongoing research lines:

  • Development of a pediatric HIV-TB dual vaccine based on recombinant mycobacteria. In this project, the only licensed TB vaccine currently available, Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), is used as a vaccine vector to express different HIV immunogens. Properties of BCG make recombinant BCG:HIV vaccines ideal to be delivered to newborn infants for prevention of early HIV infection. Currently, this vaccine vector is one of the vectors included in the EAVI2020  European AIDS Vaccine Consortium. (Horizon 2020  grant agreement No. 681137).
    We are also developing an HIV-TB dual vaccine based in an attenuated M. tuberculosis strain (MTBVAC). We’re using this strain to express HIV immunogens.  (FIS grant PI14/00494).
  • Development of a preventive HIV vaccine based on HPV-HIV chimeric VLPs. Another research line focuses on the development of a preventive HIV vaccine based on the HPV VLP vaccine. The present HPV preventive vaccines use VLPs formed by HPV L1 protein. In our project, we’ve constructed a chimeric L1 protein containing an HIV-1 T-cell epitope, with the aim of the resulting VLP eliciting specific immune responses against both HPV and HIV.

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Joan Joseph Munné
Chun-Wei Chen
Yoshiki Eto
Athina Kilpelainen
Marta Santos
Narcís Saubi

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  • Preclinical development of, harboring an integrative expression vector, for a HIV-TB Pediatric vaccine. 
    Aakash Mahant, Narcıs Saubi , Yoshiki Eto , Nuria Guitart , Josep Ma Gatell , Tomas Hanke , and Joan Joseph.  Enhancement of stability and specific HIV-1 T-cell immunity. 2017 Apr 20:1-13. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2017.1316911. IF: 2.995 (2015). Q2 (Biotechnology and applied Microbiology) 
  • Engineering new mycobacterial vaccine design for HIV–TB pediatric vaccine vectored by lysine auxotroph of BCG. 
    Narcis Saubi, Ester Gea-Mallorqui, Pau Ferrer, Carmen Hurtado, Sara Sanchez-Ubeda, Yoshiki Eto, Josep M Gatell, Tomaš Hanke & Joan Joseph.  Molecular Therapy — Methods & Clinical Development (2014) 1, 14017; doi:10.1038/mtm.2014.17; Nature Publishing Group. Published online 21 May 2014. IF: 6,938. Q1 (Biotechnology and applied Microbiology) 
  • Pre-clinical development of BCG.HIVACAT, an antibiotic-free selection strain, for HIV-TB pediatric vaccine vectored by lysine auxotroph of BCG. 
    Saubi N, Mbewe-Mvula A, Gea-Mallorqui E, Rosario M, Gatell JM, Hanke T, Joseph J.  PLOS ONE. 2012;7(8):e42559. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042559. Epub 2012 Aug 21. IF: 3.720 (2012). Q1 (Multidisciplinary) 
  • Optimizing HIV-1-specific CD8(+) T-cell induction by recombinant BCG in prime-boost regimens with heterologous viral vectors. 
    Hopkins R, Bridgeman A, Bourne C, Mbewe-Mvula A, Sadoff JC, Both GW, Joseph J, Fulkerson J, Hanke T.  Eur J Immunol. 2011 Sep 19. doi: 10.1002/eji.201141962. [Epub ahead of print]. IF: 5,103 (2011). Q1 (Immunology) 
  • Dual neonate vaccine platform against HIV-1 and tuberculosis. 
    Richard Hopkins, Anne Bridgeman, Joan Joseph, Sarah Gilbert, Helen McShane, Tomaš Hanke  PLOS ONE. May 2011 | Volume 6 | Issue 5 | e20067. IF: 4.092 (2011). Q1 (Biology). 
  • HIV vaccine trial willingness among injection and non-injection drug users in two urban centres, Barcelona and San Francisco. 
    Etcheverry MF, Lum PJ, Evans JL, Sanchez E, de Lazzari E, Mendez-Arancibia E, Sierra E, Gatell JM, Page K, Joseph J.  Vaccine. 2011 Feb 24;29(10):1991-6. Epub 2011 Jan 15. IF: 3,766 (2011). Q1 (Medicine, Research and Experimental). 
  • NewbornMice Vaccination with rBCG:HIVA +MVA:HIVA Enhances HIV-1- Specific Immune Responses: Influence of Age and Immunization Routes. 
    Narcis Saubi, Eung-Jun Im, Raquel Fernández-Lloris, Olga Gil, Pere-Joan Cardona, JosepMaria Gatell, Tomás Hanke, and Joan Joseph.  Clinical and Developmental Immunology. Volume 2011, Article ID 516219, 11 pages doi:10.1155/2011/516219. IF: 1.839 (2011). Q4 (Immunology, 2011) 
  • Molecular characterization of heterologous HIV-1gp120 gene expression disruption in mycobacterium bovis BCG host strain: a critical issue for engineering mycobacterial based-vaccine vectors. 
    Joseph J, Fernandez-Lloris R, Pezzat E, Saubi N, Cardona PJ, Mothe B, Gatell JM.  J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010;2010:357370. Epub 2010 Jun 27. IF: 1.230 (2010) . Q3 (Biotech, 2010). 
  • Safety and immunogenicity of novel recombinant BCG and modified vaccinia virus Ankara vaccines in neonate rhesus macaques. 
    Rosario M, Fulkerson J, Soneji S, Parker J, Im EJ, Borthwick N, Bridgeman A, Bourne C, Joseph J, Sadoff JC, Hanke T.  J Virol. 2010 Aug;84(15):7815-21. Epub 2010 May 19. IF: 5.189 (2010). Q1 (Virology). 
  • “Vaccine platform for prevention of tuberculosis and mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 through breastfeeding.” 
    Im, EJ; Saubi, N Virgili G, Sander C, Teoh D, Gatell JM, McShane H, Joseph J, Hanke.  J Virol. 2007 Sep; 81(17):9408-18. Epub 2007 Jun 27. 

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