Many candidate HIV vaccines are designed to primarily elicit T cell responses. Although repeated immunization with the same vaccine boosts Ab responses, the benefit for T cell responses is ill defined.We compared two immunization regimens that include the same recombinant adenoviral serotype 5 (rAd5) boost. Repeated homologous rAd5 immunization fails to increase T cell responses, but increases gp140 Ab responses 10-fold. DNA prime, as compared with rAd5 prime, directs long-term memory CD8+ T cells toward a terminally differentiated effector memory phenotype with cytotoxic potential. Based on the kinetics of activated cells measured directly ex vivo, the DNAvaccination primes for both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, despite the lack of detection of the latter until after the boost. These results suggest that heterologous prime-boost combinations have distinct immunological advantages over homologous prime-boosts and suggest that the effect of DNA on subsequent boosting may not be easily detectable directly after the DNA vaccination.
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