To evaluate its role in protection, immune serum was collected from four macaques which were chronically infected with live attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVmacC8) and had resisted challenge with wild-type SIVmacJ5. The immune serum was transferred to two naive cynomolgus macaques by intraperitoneal injection (11 ml/kg). Four control macaques received an intraperitoneal injection of normal saline. One day later, all macaques were challenged with 10 MID50 of the J5M challenge stock of SIV. After challenge, all macaques became infected as determined by virus co-culture and diagnostic PCR. Virus loads in PBMC at 2 weeks post-challenge were indistinguishable between the two groups of macaques. Thus, the failure of passive immunization to transfer protection indicates that serum components alone are not sufficient to mediate the potent protection obtained using live attenuated vaccines. This is the first time that serum has been transferred from animals known to be protected against superinfection.


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