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Virology. 2000 Mar 1;268(1):94-103.

The kinetics of specific immune responses in rhesus monkeys inoculated with live recombinant BCG expressing SIV Gag, Pol, Env, and Nef proteins.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, California, 95616, USA.


Development of an effective preventive or therapeutic vaccine against HIV-1 is an important goal in the fight against AIDS. Effective virus clearance and inhibition of spread to target organs depends principally on the cellular immune response. Therefore, a vaccine against HIV-1 should elicit virus-specific cytotoxic lymphocyte (CTL) responses to eliminate the virus during the cell-associated stages of its life cycle. The vaccine should also be capable of inducing immunity at the mucosal surfaces, the primary route of transmission. Recombinant Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) expressing viral proteins offers an excellent candidate vaccine in view of its safety and ability to persist intracellularly, resulting in the induction of long-lasting immunity and stimulation of the cellular immune response. BCG can be administered orally to induce HIV-specific immunity at the mucosal surfaces. The immunogenicity of four recombinant BCG constructs expressing simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) Gag, Pol, Env, and Nef proteins was tested in rhesus macaques. A single simultaneous inoculation of all four recombinants elicited SIV-specific IgA and IgG antibody, and cellular immune responses, including CTL and helper T cell proliferation. Our results demonstrate that BCG recombinant vectors can induce concomitant humoral and cellular immune responses to the major proteins of SIV.

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