Two simian immunodeficiency virus strain mac (SIVmac)/human immunodeficiency virus type 1(HIV-1) chimeric viruses (SHIVs), designated NM-3 and NM-3n, with env derived from HIV-1 and defective vpr (plus defective nef for NM-3), were inoculated into seven macaques. These macaques were transiently or persistently infected and most of them produced long-lasting neutralizing antibodies and Env-specific killer T cells to HIV-1 with no AIDS-like symptoms. When they were challenged with another SHIV with intact vpr and nef (designated NM-3rN), all were protected as judged by virus recovery, DNA detection by PCR and antibody responses. Anti-HIV-1 Env-specific killer T cells were considered to have played a major role in this protection, but a non-specific defence mechanism as well as specific immunity also appeared to be involved. Thus, these two non-pathogenic SHIVs induced long-lasting protective immunities in macaques, suggesting the possibility of gene-defective SHIVs as attenuated live vaccines for human use.


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