The efficacy of two SIV DNA plus recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara nasal vaccine regimens, one combined with plasmids expressing IL-2 and IL-15, the other with plasmids expressing GM-CSF, IL-12, and TNF-α, which may better stimulate humoral responses, was evaluated in two female rhesus macaque groups. Vaccination stimulated significant SIV-specific mucosal and systemic cell-mediated immunity in both groups, whereas SIV-specific IgA titers were sporadic and IgG titers negative. All vaccinated animals, except one, became infected after intravaginal SIVmac251 low-dose challenge. Half of the vaccinated, infected animals (7/13) promptly controlled virus replication to undetectable viremia for the duration of the trial (130 wk) and displayed virological and immunological phenotypes similar to those of exposed, uninfected individuals. When all vaccinated animals were considered, a 3-log viremia reduction was observed, compared with controls. The excellent viral replication containment achieved in vaccinated animals translated into significant preservation of circulating α4β7high+/CD4+ T cells and of circulating and mucosal CD4+/CM T cells and in reduced immune activation. A more significant long-term survival was also observed in these animals. Median survival was 72 wk for the control group, whereas >50% of the vaccinated animals were still disease free 130 wk postchallenge, when the trial was closed. There was a statistically significant correlation between levels of CD4+/IFN-γ+ and CD8+/IFN-γ+ T cell percentages on the day of challenge and the control of viremia at week 60 postchallenge or survival. Postchallenge immunological correlates of protection were systemic anti-SIV Gag + Env CD4+/IL-2+, CD4+/IFN-γ+, and CD8+/TNF-α+ T cells and vaginal anti-SIV Gag + Env CD8+ T cell total monofunctional responses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy