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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Sep;86(18):7213-7.

Protection of macaques against simian AIDS by immunization with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing the envelope glycoproteins of simian type D retrovirus.

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  • 1Oncogen, Seattle, WA 98121.


Simian AIDS (SAIDS) is an endemic disease of macaques that shares many characteristics with AIDS in humans. SAIDS is etiologically linked to infection by a type D retrovirus, SAIDS retrovirus (SRV). Immunization with an inactivated whole-virus vaccine was shown to protect macaques against infection by SRV serotype 1. To identify the antigen(s) responsible for eliciting protective immunity, we have constructed a recombinant vaccinia virus (v-senv5) that expresses the envelope glycoproteins of SRV serotype 2 (SRV-2/W). Pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) immunized with v-senv5 showed lymphoproliferative responses to purified SRV-2/W. They also generated antibodies that neutralized SRV-2/W infectivity in vitro and mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity against SRV-2-infected cells. Four v-senv5-immunized animals, together with four control animals, were challenged intravenously with 5 x 10(3) tissue culture infectious doses of SRV-2/W. As early as 2 weeks after challenge, three of four control animals became viremic, and two of these three animals also seroconverted. The animal that was viremic but remained antibody negative died of symptoms of SRV infection 6 1/2 weeks after challenge. In contrast, all four v-senv5-immunized animals remained healthy, virus-free, and seropositive against only the immunizing envelope antigens. These results indicate that immunization with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing the envelope antigens of SRV-2/W protects primates from infection by a retrovirus that causes immunodeficiency diseases.

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