Control of viremia and maintenance of intestinal CD4(+) memory T cells in SHIV(162P3) infected macaques after pathogenic SIV(MAC251) challenge.
Recent HIV vaccine failures have prompted calls for more preclinical vaccine testing in non-human primates. However, similar to HIV infection of humans, developing a vaccine that protects macaques from infection following pathogenic SIV(MAC251) challenge has proven difficult, and current vaccine candidates at best, only reduce viral loads after infection. Here we demonstrate that prior infection with a chimeric simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) containing an HIV envelope gene confers protection against intravenous infection with the heterologous, highly pathogenic SIV(MAC251) in rhesus macaques. Although definitive immune correlates of protection were not identified, preservation and/or restoration of intestinal CD4(+) memory T cells were associated with protection from challenge and control of viremia. These results suggest that protection against pathogenic lentiviral infection or disease progression is indeed possible, and may correlate with preservation of mucosal CD4(+) T cells.
Pahar, B; Lackner, AA; Piatak, M; Lifson, JD; Wang, X; Das, A; Ling, B; Montefiori, DC; Veazey, RS
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