1887

Abstract

The presence or evolution of immune escape variants has been proposed to account for the failure of recombinant envelope vaccines to protect macaques against challenge with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVmac). To address this issue, two groups of three cynomolgus macaques were immunized with recombinant SIV Env vaccines using two different vaccine schedules. One group of macaques received four injections of recombinant SIV gp120 in SAF-1 containing threonyl muramyl dipeptide as adjuvant. A second group were primed twice with recombinant vaccinia virus expressing SIV gp160 and then boosted twice with recombinant SIV gp120. Both vaccine schedules elicited neutralizing antibodies to Env. However, on the day of challenge, titres of anti-Env antibodies measured by ELISA were higher in macaques primed with recombinant vaccinia virus. Following intravenous challenge with 10 monkey infectious doses of the SIVmac J5M challenge stock, five of the six immunized macaques and all four naive controls became infected. The virus burdens in PBMC of macaques that were primed with recombinant vaccinia virus were lower than those of naive controls, as determined by virus titration and quantitative DNA PCR. Sequence analysis was performed on SIV amplified from the blood of immunized and naive infected macaques. No variation of SIV sequence was observed, even in macaques with a reduced virus load, suggesting that the appearance of immune escape variants does not account for the incomplete protection observed. In addition, this study indicates that the measurement of serum neutralizing antibodies may not provide a useful correlate for protection elicited by recombinant envelope vaccines.

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1999-09-01
2020-01-29
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