Prof Adrian VS Hill

Research Area: Global Health
Technology Exchange: Computational biology, In vivo imaging, Medical statistics, Microscopy (EM), SNP typing, Statistical genetics and Vaccine production and evaluation
Scientific Themes: Immunology & Infectious Disease and Tropical Medicine & Global Health
Keywords: Vaccines, Malaria, Genetic Susceptibility, Ebola, Immunology, Tuberculosis and Clinical trial
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Dr Hill’s detailed analyses of HLA polymorphism and malaria susceptibility in African children led to an interest in vaccine development, particularly assessing T cell-inducing vaccines against malaria. In murine studies he identified the enhanced T cell immunogenicity of non-replicating poxviruses as boosting agents in vaccination protocols. This led to phase I clinical trials of both DNA and MVA vaccines for malaria starting in 1999. His group showed the first T cell mediated protection of human vaccinees by using DNA-MVA and fowlpox-MVA prime-boost regimes against the liver-stage of malaria.

To achieve greater levels of protective efficacy his group is currently developing more immunogenic prime-boost regimes involving recombinant chimpanzee adenoviruses as priming agents and MVA as a boosting agent. This type of regime has now shown excellent immunogenicity in over 20 clinical trials for malaria with significant efficacy. More immunogenic vectored vaccines are being developed using new internal adjuvants that work well in viral vectors, along with a range of new liver-stage target antigens. A very promising new virus-like particle vaccine, R21, has been developed as an a potentially improved version of the leading RTS,S vaccine candidate and this will be combined with viral vectors targeting the liver-stage in upcoming clinical trials.

In 2014 his group led the first clinical trial of a monovalent Ebola virus vaccine aimed at targeting the outbreak strain of Ebola virus in West Africa.

Dr Hill’s immunogenetics programme includes genome-wide and exomic association studies of bacterial diseases, particularly tuberculosis, sepsis and pneumococcal disease. The group also has interests in susceptibility to Salmonella infections in Africa and to rheumatic heart disease in Pacific Islanders. A new programme is studying the genetic basis of variable responses to vaccination with several childhood vaccines.

Name Department Institution Country
Prof Sarah C Gilbert Jenner Institute University of Oxford United Kingdom
Prof Helen McShane Jenner Institute University of Oxford United Kingdom
Prof Simon J Draper Jenner Institute University of Oxford United Kingdom
Dr Sumi Biswas Jenner Institute University of Oxford United Kingdom
Prof Kevin Marsh Tropical Medicine University of Oxford United Kingdom
Prof Anthony Scott Tropical Medicine University of Oxford United Kingdom
Prof Julian C Knight Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics University of Oxford United Kingdom
Dr Chris S Garrard NDM Strategic University of Oxford United Kingdom
Prof Ellie (Eleanor) Barnes Experimental Medicine Division University of Oxford United Kingdom
Prof Paul Klenerman Experimental Medicine Division University of Oxford United Kingdom

Sheehy SH, Duncan CJ, Elias SC, Collins KA, Ewer KJ, Spencer AJ, Williams AR, Halstead FD et al. 2011. Phase Ia clinical evaluation of the Plasmodium falciparum blood-stage antigen MSP1 in ChAd63 and MVA vaccine vectors. Mol Ther, 19 (12), pp. 2269-2276. Read abstract | Read more

Efficacy trials of antibody-inducing protein-in-adjuvant vaccines targeting the blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite have so far shown disappointing results. The induction of cell-mediated responses in conjunction with antibody responses is thought to be one alternative strategy that could achieve protective efficacy in humans. Here, we prepared chimpanzee adenovirus 63 (ChAd63) and modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) replication-deficient vectors encoding the well-studied P. falciparum blood-stage malaria antigen merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1). A phase Ia clinical trial was conducted in healthy adults of a ChAd63-MVA MSP1 heterologous prime-boost immunization regime. The vaccine was safe and generally well tolerated. Fewer systemic adverse events (AEs) were observed following ChAd63 MSP1 than MVA MSP1 administration. Exceptionally strong T-cell responses were induced, and these displayed a mixed of CD4(+) and CD8(+) phenotype. Substantial MSP1-specific serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody responses were also induced, which were capable of recognizing native parasite antigen, but these did not reach titers sufficient to neutralize P. falciparum parasites in vitro. This viral vectored vaccine regime is thus a leading approach for the induction of strong cellular and humoral immunogenicity against difficult disease targets in humans. Further studies are required to assess whether this strategy can achieve protective efficacy against blood-stage malaria infection. Hide abstract

Reyes-Sandoval A, Berthoud T, Alder N, Siani L, Gilbert SC, Nicosia A, Colloca S, Cortese R, Hill AVS. 2011. Prime-Boost Immunization with Adenoviral and Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara Vectors Enhances the Durability and Polyfunctionality of Protective Malaria CD8(+) T-Cell Responses, (vol 78, pg 152, 2010) INFECTION AND IMMUNITY, 79 (5), pp. 2131-2131. | Read more

Douglas AD, Andrews L, Draper SJ, Bojang K, Milligan P, Gilbert SC, Imoukhuede EB, Hill AV. 2011. Substantially reduced pre-patent parasite multiplication rates are associated with naturally acquired immunity to Plasmodium falciparum. J Infect Dis, 203 (9), pp. 1337-1340. Read abstract | Read more

Naturally acquired immunity to Plasmodium falciparum's asexual blood stage reduces parasite multiplication at microscopically detectable densities. The effect of natural immunity on initial prepatent parasite multiplication during the period following a new infection has been uncertain, contributing to doubt regarding the utility of experimental challenge models for blood-stage vaccine trials. Here we present data revealing that parasite multiplication rates during the initial prepatent period in semi-immune Gambian adults are substantially lower than in malaria-naive participants. This supports the view that a blood-stage vaccine capable of emulating the disease-reducing effect of natural immunity could achieve a detectable effect during the prepatent period. Hide abstract

Hill AVS. 2011. Vaccines against malaria Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 366 (1579), pp. 2806-2814. Read abstract | Read more

There is no licenced vaccine against any human parasitic disease and Plasmodium falciparum malaria, a major cause of infectious mortality, presents a great challenge to vaccine developers. This has led to the assessment of a wide variety of approaches to malaria vaccine design and development, assisted by the availability of a safe challenge model for small-scale efficacy testing of vaccine candidates. Malaria vaccine development has been at the forefront of assessing many new vaccine technologies including novel adjuvants, vectored prime-boost regimes and the concept of community vaccination to block malaria transmission. Most current vaccine candidates target a single stage of the parasite's life cycle and vaccines against the early pre-erythrocytic stages have shown most success. A protein in adjuvant vaccine, working through antibodies against sporozoites, and viral vector vaccines targeting the intracellular liver-stage parasite with cellular immunity show partial efficacy in humans, and the anti-sporozoite vaccine is currently in phase III trials. However, a more effective malaria vaccine suitable for widespread cost-effective deployment is likely to require a multi-component vaccine targeting more than one life cycle stage. The most attractive near-term approach to develop such a product is to combine existing partially effective pre-erythrocytic vaccine candidates. © 2011 The Royal Society. Hide abstract

Reyes-Sandoval A, Wyllie DH, Bauza K, Milicic A, Forbes EK, Rollier CS, Hill AVS. 2011. CD8+ T effector memory cells protect against liver-stage malaria Journal of Immunology, 187 (3), pp. 1347-1357. Read abstract | Read more

Identification of correlates of protection for infectious diseases including malaria is a major challenge and has become one of the main obstacles in developing effective vaccines.We investigated protection against liver-stage malaria conferred by vaccination with adenoviral (Ad) and modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vectors expressing pre-erythrocytic malaria Ags. By classifying CD8+ T cells into effector, effector memory (TEM), and central memory subsets using CD62L and CD127 markers, we found striking differences in T cell memory generation. Although MVA induced accelerated central memory T cell generation, which could be efficiently boosted by subsequent Ad administration, it failed to protect against malaria. In contrast, Ad vectors, which permit persistent Ag delivery, elicit a prolonged effector T cell and TEM response that requires long intervals for an efficient boost. A preferential TEM phenotype was maintained in liver, blood, and spleen after Ad/MVA prime-boost regimens, and animals were protected against malaria sporozoite challenge. Blood CD8+ TEM cells correlated with protection against malaria liver-stage infection, assessed by estimation of number of parasites emerging from the liver into the blood. The protective ability of Agspecific TEM cells was confirmed by transfer experiments into naive recipient mice. Thus, we identify persistent CD8 TEMpopulations as essential for vaccine-induced pre-erythrocytic protection against malaria, a finding that has important implications for vaccine design. Copyright © 2011 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc. Hide abstract

Thye T, Vannberg FO, Wong SH, Owusu-Dabo E, Osei I, Gyapong J, Sirugo G, Sisay-Joof F et al. 2010. Genome-wide association analyses identifies a susceptibility locus for tuberculosis on chromosome 18q11.2. Nat Genet, 42 (9), pp. 739-741. Read abstract | Read more

We combined two tuberculosis genome-wide association studies from Ghana and The Gambia with subsequent replication in a combined 11,425 individuals. rs4331426, located in a gene-poor region on chromosome 18q11.2, was associated with disease (combined P = 6.8 x 10(-9), odds ratio = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.13-1.27). Our study demonstrates that genome-wide association studies can identify new susceptibility loci for infectious diseases, even in African populations, in which levels of linkage disequilibrium are particularly low. Hide abstract

Khor CC, Vannberg FO, Chapman SJ, Guo H, Wong SH, Walley AJ, Vukcevic D, Rautanen A et al. 2010. CISH and susceptibility to infectious diseases. N Engl J Med, 362 (22), pp. 2092-2101. Read abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: The interleukin-2-mediated immune response is critical for host defense against infectious pathogens. Cytokine-inducible SRC homology 2 (SH2) domain protein (CISH), a suppressor of cytokine signaling, controls interleukin-2 signaling. METHODS: Using a case-control design, we tested for an association between CISH polymorphisms and susceptibility to major infectious diseases (bacteremia, tuberculosis, and severe malaria) in blood samples from 8402 persons in Gambia, Hong Kong, Kenya, Malawi, and Vietnam. We had previously tested 20 other immune-related genes in one or more of these sample collections. RESULTS: We observed associations between variant alleles of multiple CISH polymorphisms and increased susceptibility to each infectious disease in each of the study populations. When all five single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (at positions -639, -292, -163, +1320, and +3415 [all relative to CISH]) within the CISH-associated locus were considered together in a multiple-SNP score, we found an association between CISH genetic variants and susceptibility to bacteremia, malaria, and tuberculosis (P=3.8x10(-11) for all comparisons), with -292 accounting for most of the association signal (P=4.58x10(-7)). Peripheral-blood mononuclear cells obtained from adult subjects carrying the -292 variant, as compared with wild-type cells, showed a muted response to the stimulation of interleukin-2 production--that is, 25 to 40% less CISH expression. CONCLUSIONS: Variants of CISH are associated with susceptibility to diseases caused by diverse infectious pathogens, suggesting that negative regulators of cytokine signaling have a role in immunity against various infectious diseases. The overall risk of one of these infectious diseases was increased by at least 18% among persons carrying the variant CISH alleles. Hide abstract

Alcock R, Cottingham MG, Rollier CS, Furze J, De Costa SD, Hanlon M, Spencer AJ, Honeycutt JD et al. 2010. Long-term thermostabilization of live poxviral and adenoviral vaccine vectors at supraphysiological temperatures in carbohydrate glass. Sci Transl Med, 2 (19), pp. 19ra12. Read abstract | Read more

Live recombinant viral vectors based on adenoviruses and poxviruses are among the most promising platforms for development of new vaccines against diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV-AIDS. Vaccines based on live viruses must remain infectious to be effective, so therefore need continuous refrigeration to maintain stability and viability, a requirement that can be costly and difficult, especially in developing countries. The sugars sucrose and trehalose are commonly used as stabilizing agents and cryoprotectants for biological products. Here, we have exploited the ability of these sugars to vitrify on desiccation to develop a thermostabilization technique for live viral vaccine vectors. By slowly drying vaccines suspended in solutions of these disaccharide stabilizers onto a filter-like support membrane at ambient temperature, an ultrathin glass is deposited on the fibers of the inert matrix. Immobilization of two recombinant vaccine vectors-E1/E3-deleted human adenovirus type 5 and modified vaccinia virus Ankara-in this glass on the membranes enabled complete recovery of viral titer and immunogenicity after storage at up to 45 degrees C for 6 months and even longer with minimal losses. Furthermore, the membrane carrying the stabilized vaccine can be incorporated into a holder attached to a syringe for almost simultaneous reconstitution and injection at point of use. The technology may potentially be developed for the deployment of viral vector-based biopharmaceuticals in resource-poor settings. Hide abstract

Wong SH, Gochhait S, Malhotra D, Pettersson FH, Teo YY, Khor CC, Rautanen A, Chapman SJ et al. 2010. Leprosy and the adaptation of human toll-like receptor 1. PLoS Pathog, 6 (7), pp. e1000979. Read abstract | Read more

Leprosy is an infectious disease caused by the obligate intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium leprae and remains endemic in many parts of the world. Despite several major studies on susceptibility to leprosy, few genomic loci have been replicated independently. We have conducted an association analysis of more than 1,500 individuals from different case-control and family studies, and observed consistent associations between genetic variants in both TLR1 and the HLA-DRB1/DQA1 regions with susceptibility to leprosy (TLR1 I602S, case-control P = 5.7 x 10(-8), OR = 0.31, 95% CI = 0.20-0.48, and HLA-DQA1 rs1071630, case-control P = 4.9 x 10(-14), OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.35-0.54). The effect sizes of these associations suggest that TLR1 and HLA-DRB1/DQA1 are major susceptibility genes in susceptibility to leprosy. Further population differentiation analysis shows that the TLR1 locus is extremely differentiated. The protective dysfunctional 602S allele is rare in Africa but expands to become the dominant allele among individuals of European descent. This supports the hypothesis that this locus may be under selection from mycobacteria or other pathogens that are recognized by TLR1 and its co-receptors. These observations provide insight into the long standing host-pathogen relationship between human and mycobacteria and highlight the key role of the TLR pathway in infectious diseases. Hide abstract

Reyes-Sandoval A, Berthoud T, Alder N, Siani L, Gilbert SC, Nicosia A, Colloca S, Cortese R, Hill AV. 2010. Prime-boost immunization with adenoviral and modified vaccinia virus Ankara vectors enhances the durability and polyfunctionality of protective malaria CD8+ T-cell responses. Infect Immun, 78 (1), pp. 145-153. Read abstract | Read more

Protection against liver-stage malaria relies on the induction of high frequencies of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. We have previously reported high protective levels against mouse malaria, albeit short-lived, by a single vaccination with adenoviral vectors coding for a liver-stage antigen (ME.TRAP). Here, we report that prime-boost regimens using modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) and adenoviral vectors encoding ME.TRAP can enhance both short- and long-term sterile protection against malaria. Protection persisted for at least 6 months when simian adenoviruses AdCh63 and AdC9 were used as priming vectors. Kinetic analysis showed that the MVA boost made the adenoviral-primed T cells markedly more polyfunctional, with the number of gamma interferon (INF-gamma), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), and interleukin-2 (IL-2) triple-positive and INF-gamma and TNF-alpha double-positive cells increasing over time, while INF-gamma single-positive cells declined with time. However, IFN-gamma production prevailed as the main immune correlate of protection, while neither an increase of polyfunctionality nor a high integrated mean fluorescence intensity (iMFI) correlated with protection. These data highlight the ability of optimized viral vector prime-boost regimens to generate more protective and sustained CD8+ T-cell responses, and our results encourage a more nuanced assessment of the importance of inducing polyfunctional CD8(+) T cells by vaccination. Hide abstract

Draper SJ, Goodman AL, Biswas S, Forbes EK, Moore AC, Gilbert SC, Hill AV. 2009. Recombinant viral vaccines expressing merozoite surface protein-1 induce antibody- and T cell-mediated multistage protection against malaria. Cell Host Microbe, 5 (1), pp. 95-105. Read abstract | Read more

Protecting against both liver and blood stages of infection is a long-sought goal of malaria vaccine design. Recently, we described the use of replication-defective viral vaccine vectors expressing the malaria antigen merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1) as an antimalarial vaccine strategy that elicits potent and protective antibody responses against blood-stage parasites. Here, we show that vaccine-induced MSP-1-specific CD4(+) T cells provide essential help for protective B cell responses, and CD8(+) T cells mediate significant antiparasitic activity against liver-stage parasites. Enhanced survival is subsequently seen in immunized mice following challenge with sporozoites, which mimics the natural route of infection more closely than when using infected red blood cells. This effect is evident both in the presence and absence of protective antibodies and is associated with decreased parasite burden in the liver followed by enhanced induction of the cytokine IFN-gamma in the serum. Multistage immunity against malaria can thus be achieved by using viral vectors recombinant for MSP-1. Hide abstract

Draper SJ, Moore AC, Goodman AL, Long CA, Holder AA, Gilbert SC, Hill F, Hill AV. 2008. Effective induction of high-titer antibodies by viral vector vaccines. Nat Med, 14 (8), pp. 819-821. Read abstract | Read more

Protein-in-adjuvant vaccines have shown limited success against difficult diseases such as blood-stage malaria. Here we show that a recombinant adenovirus-poxvirus prime-boost immunization regime (known to induce strong T cell immunogenicity) can also induce very strong antigen-specific antibody responses, and we identify a simple complement-based adjuvant to further enhance immunogenicity. Antibodies induced against a blood-stage malaria antigen by this viral vector platform are highly effective against Plasmodium yoelii parasites in mice and against Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. Hide abstract

Reyes-Sandoval A, Sridhar S, Berthoud T, Moore AC, Harty JT, Gilbert SC, Gao G, Ertl HC, Wilson JC, Hill AV. 2008. Single-dose immunogenicity and protective efficacy of simian adenoviral vectors against Plasmodium berghei. Eur J Immunol, 38 (3), pp. 732-741. Read abstract | Read more

Simian adenoviral vectors (SAd) offer an attractive alternative to standard human adenovirus serotype 5 (AdH5) subunit vaccination, due to pre-existing immunity affecting vaccine performance. We have used a mouse model of liver-stage malaria to test the efficiency of three chimpanzee-origin adenoviral vectors, AdC6, AdC7 and AdC9 containing ME.TRAP as an insert. AdC7 and AdC9 elicited strong immunogenicity ( approximately 20% of CD8(+) T cells in spleen), equivalent to or outperforming AdH5 and inducing sterile protection in 92% (C9), 83% (H5 and C7) and 67% (C6) of the mice, providing the first evidence of single-dose protection to Plasmodium berghei. Protection was afforded by the SAd despite high levels of pre-existing immunity to AdH5. Phenotypic analysis showed that all adenoviral vectors (Ad) elicited CD8(+) T cell responses with an effector memory T cell (T(EM)) phenotype. By contrast, vaccination with poxviral vectors did not confer protection to P. berghei and induced a predominantly CD8(+) central memory T cell (T(CM)) response. Multifunctional CD8(+) T cell responses (co-expressing IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha and IL-2) were also induced by the Ad in higher percentages than the poxviral vectors. Our data suggest that T(EM) cells are important as a first line of defense against fast-replicating pathogens such as murine Plasmodium and demonstrate the potential of replication-defective SAd as future malaria vaccines for humans. Hide abstract

Hutchings CL, Birkett AJ, Moore AC, Hill AV. 2007. Combination of protein and viral vaccines induces potent cellular and humoral immune responses and enhanced protection from murine malaria challenge. Infect Immun, 75 (12), pp. 5819-5826. Read abstract | Read more

The search for an efficacious vaccine against malaria is ongoing, and it is now widely believed that to confer protection a vaccine must induce very strong cellular and humoral immunity concurrently. We studied the immune response in mice immunized with the recombinant viral vaccines fowlpox strain FP9 and modified virus Ankara (MVA), a protein vaccine (CV-1866), or a combination of the two; all vaccines express parts of the same preerythrocytic malaria antigen, the Plasmodium berghei circumsporozoite protein (CSP). Mice were then challenged with P. berghei sporozoites to determine the protective efficacies of different vaccine regimens. Two immunizations with the protein vaccine CV-1866, based on the hepatitis B core antigen particle, induced strong humoral immunity to the repeat region of CSP that was weakly protective against sporozoite challenge. Prime-boost with the viral vector vaccines, FP9 followed by MVA, induced strong T-cell immunity to the CD8+ epitope Pb9 and partially protected animals from challenge. Physically mixing CV-1866 with FP9 or MVA and then immunizing with the resultant combinations in a prime-boost regimen induced both cellular and humoral immunity and afforded substantially higher levels of protection (combination, 90%) than either vaccine alone (CV-1866, 12%; FP9/MVA, 37%). For diseases such as malaria in which different potent immune responses are required to protect against different stages, using combinations of partially effective vaccines may offer a more rapid route to achieving deployable levels of efficacy than individual vaccine strategies. Hide abstract

Khor CC, Chapman SJ, Vannberg FO, Dunne A, Murphy C, Ling EY, Frodsham AJ, Walley AJ et al. 2007. A Mal functional variant is associated with protection against invasive pneumococcal disease, bacteremia, malaria and tuberculosis. Nat Genet, 39 (4), pp. 523-528. Read abstract | Read more

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and members of their signaling pathway are important in the initiation of the innate immune response to a wide variety of pathogens. The adaptor protein Mal (also known as TIRAP), encoded by TIRAP (MIM 606252), mediates downstream signaling of TLR2 and TLR4 (refs. 4-6). We report a case-control study of 6,106 individuals from the UK, Vietnam and several African countries with invasive pneumococcal disease, bacteremia, malaria and tuberculosis. We genotyped 33 SNPs, including rs8177374, which encodes a leucine substitution at Ser180 of Mal. We found that heterozygous carriage of this variant associated independently with all four infectious diseases in the different study populations. Combining the study groups, we found substantial support for a protective effect of S180L heterozygosity against these infectious diseases (N = 6,106; overall P = 9.6 x 10(-8)). We found that the Mal S180L variant attenuated TLR2 signal transduction. Hide abstract

Walther M, Tongren JE, Andrews L, Korbel D, King E, Fletcher H, Andersen RF, Bejon P et al. 2005. Upregulati is neither affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its contents. This is a safe-cache copy of the original web site.