Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection Interferes with HIV Vaccination in Mice

Tuberculosis (TB) has emerged as the most prominent bacterial disease found in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive individuals worldwide. Due to high prevalence of asymptomatic Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infections, the future HIV vaccine in areas highly endemic for TB will often be administrated to individuals with an ongoing Mtb infection. The impact of concurrent Mtb infection on the immunogenicity of a HIV vaccine candidate, MultiHIV DNA/protein, was investigated in mice. We found that, depending on the vaccination route, mice infected with Mtb before the administration of the HIV vaccine showed impairment in both the magnitude and the quality of antibody and T cell responses to the vaccine components p24Gag and gp160Env. Mice infected with Mtb prior to intranasal HIV vaccination exhibited reduced p24Gag-specific serum IgG and IgA, and suppressed gp160Env-specific serum IgG as compared to respective titers in uninfected HIV-vaccinated controls. Importantly, in Mtb-infected mice that were HIV-vaccinated by the intramuscular route the virus neutralizing activity in serum was significantly decreased, relative to uninfected counterparts. In addition mice concurrently infected with Mtb had fewer p24Gag-specific IFN-γ-expressing T cells and multifunctional T cells in their spleens. These results suggest that Mtb infection might interfere with the outcome of prospective HIV vaccination in humans.