VEE replicon particles (VRP), non-propagating vaccine vectors derived from Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEE), were engineered to express immunogens from the cloned isolate SIVsmH-4, combined in a vaccine cocktail and inoculated subcutaneously to immunize rhesus macaques. The virulent, uncloned challenge stock, SIVsmE660, represented a type of heterologous challenge and the intrarectal challenge modeled infection across a mucosal surface. Prechallenge neutralizing antibodies against SIVsmH-4 were induced in all vaccinates, and a prechallenge cellular immune response could be detected in one of six. Post-challenge, virus loads were reduced at the peak, at set point and at termination (41 weeks post-challenge), although these differences did not reach statistical significance. Significantly elevated levels of CD4+ T cells were observed post-challenge. A strong correlation was noted between a net increase in CD4+ T cell count and lowered virus load at set point.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases