BACKGROUND: Recent progress in the pathophysiology of heart failure (HF) has led to the development of new therapeutic options such as gene therapy and the use of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors. Despite the promising results in early clinical trials of gene therapy for HF, various obstacles have been faced, such as the presence of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) against the capsid vectors. NAb activity limits vector transduction levels and therefore diminishes the final therapeutic response. Recent studies evaluating the prevalence of NAbs in various populations found considerable geographic variability for each AAV serotype. However, the levels of NAbs in Latin American populations are unknown, becoming a limiting factor to conducting AAV vector therapeutic trials in this population. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study is to determine for the first time, the prevalence of anti-AAV NAbs for the serotypes 1, 2, and 9 in HF patients from the city of Bucaramanga, Colombia, using the in vitro transduction inhibition assay. METHODS: We will conduct a cross-sectional study with patients who periodically attend the HF clinic of the Cardiovascular Foundation of Colombia and healthy volunteers matched for age and sex. For all participants, we will evaluate the NAb levels against serotypes AAV1, AAV2, and AAV9. We will determine NAb levels using the in vitro transduction inhibition assay. In addition, participants will answer a survey to evaluate their epidemiological and socioeconomic variables. Participation in the study will be voluntary and all participants will sign an informed consent document before any intervention. RESULTS: The project is in the first phase: elaboration of case report forms and the informed consent form, and design of the recruitment strategy. Patient recruitment is expected to begin in the spring of 2016. We expect to have preliminary results, including the titer of the viral vectors, multiplicity of infections that we will use for each serotype, and the general validation of the assay, at the end of 2016. The final results are expected mid-2017. CONCLUSIONS: This project is the first effort to evaluate NAb levels against AAV1, AAV2, and AAV9 serotypes in patients with HF in Latin America. Our results will allow us to check the cross-reactivity response between the serotypes assessed, to describe the epidemiological characteristics of the participant population, and to set up a link with earlier reports of NAb prevalence in the literature.
Rincon, M. Y., Prada, C. E., Lopez, M., Castillo, V., Echeverria, L. E., & Serrano, N. (2016). Determination of Anti-Adeno-Associated Viral Vector Neutralizing Antibodies in Patients With Heart Failure in the Cardiovascular Foundation of Colombia (ANVIAS): Study Protocol. JMIR Research Protocols, 5(2), e102. https://doi.org/10.2196/resprot.5535