Vaccine vectors derived from Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEE) that expressed simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) immunogens were tested in rhesus macaques as part of the effort to design a safe and effective vaccine for human immunodeficiency virus. Immunization with VEE replicon particles induced both humoral and cellular immune responses. Four of four vaccinated animals were protected against disease for at least 16 months following intravenous challenge with a pathogenic SIV swarm, while two of four controls required euthanasia at 10 and 11 weeks. Vaccination reduced the mean peak vital load 100-fold. The plasma viral load was reduced to below the limit of detection (1,500 genome copies/ml) in one vaccinated animal between 6 and 16 weeks postchallenge and in another from week 6 through the last sampling time (40 weeks postchallenge). The extent of reduction in challenge virus replication was directly correlated with the strength of the immune response induced by the vectors, which suggests that vaccination was effective.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science