Virology, Nebraska Center for


Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in Vaccine 37 (2019) 5177–5184



Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


Vaccination offers the most cost-effective approach to limiting the adverse impact of infectious and neoplastic diseases that reduce the quality of life in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, it is unclear what vaccine vectors would be most readily implementable in the setting and at what age they should be applied for maximal efficacy. Adenoviruses (Ad) and Ad-based vectors have been demonstrated to induce effective humoral and cellular immune responses in animal models and in humans. However, because immunity associated with Ad infection is lifelong, there exists a debate as to whether pre-existing immunity might decrease the efficacy of Ad vectored vaccines. In order to begin to rationally develop vaccination strategies for SSA, we have quantified neutralizing antibodies (nAb) against Ad4, Ad5, Ad7, Ad26, Ad28, Ad45 and Ad48 in 67 adult women and their infants. We are the first to define the decay kinetics of transferred maternal nAb in infants as well as the apparent initiation of de novo Ad responses. Our findings demonstrate that in Zambian adults, robust nAb responses exist against each of the Ads tested and are efficiently transferred to newborns. With few exceptions, neither the HIV-1 infection status of the mothers or the antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment of HIV-1 disease had significant impact on maternal Ad nAb responses or their transfer to infants. However, maternal Ad nAb decays in infants to a nadir at 12 months of age such that any of the seven Ad types could function as vaccine vectors. The definition of this ‘window of opportunity’ provides important foundational data for rational design and implementation of Ad vectors in this setting.