Multimodality vaccination against clade C SHIV: partial protection against mucosal challenges with a heterologous tier 2 virus

Vaccine
Samir K LakhasheRuth M Ruprecht

Abstract

We sought to test whether vaccine-induced immune responses could protect rhesus macaques (RMs) against upfront heterologous challenges with an R5 simian-human immunodeficiency virus, SHIV-2873Nip. This SHIV strain exhibits many properties of transmitted HIV-1, such as tier 2 phenotype (relatively difficult to neutralize), exclusive CCR5 tropism, and gradual disease progression in infected RMs. Since no human AIDS vaccine recipient is likely to encounter an HIV-1 strain that exactly matches the immunogens, we immunized the RMs with recombinant Env proteins heterologous to the challenge virus. For induction of immune responses against Gag, Tat, and Nef, we explored a strategy of immunization with overlapping synthetic peptides (OSP). The immune responses against Gag and Tat were finally boosted with recombinant proteins. The vaccinees and a group of ten control animals were given five low-dose intrarectal (i.r.) challenges with SHIV-2873Nip. All controls and seven out of eight vaccinees became systemically infected; there was no significant difference in viremia levels of vaccinees vs. controls. Prevention of viremia was observed in one vaccinee which showed strong boosting of virus-specific cellular immunity during virus exposur...Continue Reading

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