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Virology. 2007 Jan 20;357(2):199-214. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

Ability of herpes simplex virus vectors to boost immune responses to DNA vectors and to protect against challenge by simian immunodeficiency virus.

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  • 1New England Primate Research Center, Harvard Medical School, One Pine Hill Drive, P.O. Box 9102, Southborough, MA 01772-9102, USA.


The immunogenicity and protective capacity of replication-defective herpes simplex virus (HSV) vector-based vaccines were examined in rhesus macaques. Three macaques were inoculated with recombinant HSV vectors expressing Gag, Env, and a Tat-Rev-Nef fusion protein of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). Three other macaques were primed with recombinant DNA vectors expressing Gag, Env, and a Pol-Tat-Nef-Vif fusion protein prior to boosting with the HSV vectors. Robust anti-Gag and anti-Env cellular responses were detected in all six macaques. Following intravenous challenge with wild-type, cloned SIV239, peak and 12-week plasma viremia levels were significantly lower in vaccinated compared to control macaques. Plasma SIV RNA in vaccinated macaques was inversely correlated with anti-Rev ELISPOT responses on the day of challenge (P value<0.05), anti-Tat ELISPOT responses at 2 weeks post challenge (P value <0.05) and peak neutralizing antibody titers pre-challenge (P value 0.06). These findings support continued study of recombinant herpesviruses as a vaccine approach for AIDS.

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