Recombinant modified vaccinia virus ankara expressing the surface gp120 of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) primes for a rapid neutralizing antibody response to SIV infection in macaques.
Neutralizing antibodies were assessed before and after intravenous challenge with pathogenic SIVsmE660 in rhesus macaques that had been immunized with recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara expressing one or more simian immunodeficiency virus gene products (MVA-SIV). Animals received either MVA-gag-pol, MVA-env, MVA-gag-pol-env, or nonrecombinant MVA. Although no animals were completely protected from infection with SIV, animals immunized with recombinant MVA-SIV vaccines had lower virus loads and prolonged survival relative to control animals that received nonrecombinant MVA (I. Ourmanov et al., J. Virol. 74:2740-2751, 2000). Titers of neutralizing antibodies measured with the vaccine strain SIVsmH-4 were low in the MVA-env and MVA-gag-pol-env groups of animals and were undetectable in the MVA-gag-pol and nonrecombinant MVA groups of animals on the day of challenge (4 weeks after final immunization). Titers of SIVsmH-4-neutralizing antibodies remained unchanged 1 week later but increased approximately 100-fold 2 weeks postchallenge in the MVA-env and MVA-gag-pol-env groups while the titers remained low or undetectable in the MVA-gag-pol and nonrecombinant MVA groups. This anamnestic neutralizing antibody response was also detected with T-cell-line-adapted stocks of SIVmac251 and SIV/DeltaB670 but not with SIVmac239, as this latter virus resisted neutralization. Most animals in each group had high titers of SIVsmH-4-neutralizing antibodies 8 weeks postchallenge. Titers of neutralizing antibodies were low or undetectable until about 12 weeks of infection in all groups of animals and showed little or no evidence of an anamnestic response when measured with SIVsmE660. The results indicate that recombinant MVA is a promising vector to use to prime for an anamnestic neutralizing antibody response following infection with primate lentiviruses that cause AIDS. However, the Env component of the present vaccine needs improvement in order to target a broad spectrum of viral variants, including those that resemble primary isolates.
Ourmanov, I; Bilska, M; Hirsch, VM; Montefiori, DC
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