1887

Abstract

Equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) infection of horses provides a valuable model for examining the natural immunological control of lentivirus infection and disease and the mechanisms of protective and enhancing vaccine immunity. We have previously hypothesized that the EIAV envelope (Env) proteins gp90 and gp45 are major determinants of vaccine efficacy, and that the development of protective immunity by attenuated viral vaccines may be associated with the progressive redirection of immune responses from immunodominant, variable Env segments to immunorecessive, conserved Env sequences. Whilst the antibody-neutralization determinants of Env have been defined, there are to date no comprehensive analyses of the lymphoproliferative (T-helper, Th) and cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) epitopes of the EIAV Env proteins. Thus, in the current study, synthetic-peptide methodologies were used to define regions of EIAV Env associated with protective vaccine immunity in a panel of 12 horses inoculated with the attenuated EIAV vaccine and two asymptomatic carrier horses infected experimentally with the virulent EIAV strain expressing the same Env protein as the vaccine strain. The results of these studies identified 17 broadly reactive Th peptides and six broadly reactive CTL peptides in the Env proteins of EIAV that were associated with protective immunity. Thus, these data provide for the first time a comprehensive mapping of EIAV Env-specific cellular regions that can be used to examine the development of protective immunity and to evaluate potential cellular immune determinants of protective immunity.

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2007-04-01
2019-11-15
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