1- Jazaeri, E., Mahdavi, A., Abdoli, A., "Formulation of chitosan with the polyepitope HIV-1 protein candidate vaccine efficiently boosts cellular immune responses in mice ", Pathogens and Disease, 75: (8), 1-9, (2017).

Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) continues to be a major global public health issue and priority. Despite the variety of antiretroviral therapies, it seems that an effective vaccine against HIV-1 is still very necessary. An ideal HIV-1 vaccine should be able to elicit both humoral and cellular immunities. In this respect, polyepitope vaccines, incorporated from several conserved regions of HIV-1 proteins, have received much attention recently. Herein, the immunogenicity of the HIV-1 polyepitope protein-based candidate vaccines was evaluated in BALB/c mice. Following the plasmid (pET23a-HIV-1-tat/pol/gag/env) preparation and transformation, the recombinant protein expression was optimized in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) host cells. After the HIV-1-top4 protein purification, chitosan and alum adjuvants were added to the vaccines formulations to reinforce the immunogenicity of the candidate vaccines. Mice were subcutaneously immunized three times at 2-week intervals with the candidate vaccines and the elicitation of both humoral and cellular immune responses were investigated. Taken together, the results showed that chitosan adjuvanted candidate vaccine conferred a stronger immunogenicity and elicited higher cellular responses than other candidate vaccines (P < 0.05). Thereby, it seems that co-utilizing of potent adjuvants with the HIV-1 polyepitope protein vaccines can help to open new avenues for strategies for HIV/AIDS vaccine design.