Vaccination of macaques with long-standing SIVmac251 infection lowers the viral set point after cessation of antiretroviral therapy.
A cohort of rhesus macaques with long-standing SIVmac251 infection (> or =5 mo) was treated with continuous antiretroviral therapy (ART). A group of eight macaques was vaccinated with or without simultaneous administration of low dose IL-2 with the highly attenuated poxvirus vector (NYVAC) vaccine candidate expressing the SIVmac structural gag-pol-env (gpe) genes and a novel chimeric fusion protein derived from the rev-tat-nef (rtn) regulatory genes. Control groups consisted of mock-vaccinated macaques or animals treated only with IL-2. Vaccination significantly expanded both virus-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses, and IL-2 further increased the vaccine-induced response to an immunodominant Gag epitope. Following antiretroviral treatment interruption, the viral set point was significantly lower in vaccinated than in control macaques for at least 4 consecutive mo, and viral containment was inversely correlated with vaccine-induced, virus-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses. These data provide the proof of concept that therapeutic vaccination before cessation of ART may be a feasible approach in the clinical management of HIV-1 infection.
Tryniszewska, E; Nacsa, J; Lewis, MG; Silvera, P; Montefiori, D; Venzon, D; Hel, Z; Parks, RW; Moniuszko, M; Tartaglia, J; Smith, KA; Franchini, G
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