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Nature. 1986 Sep 25-Oct 1;323(6086):344-6.

T-cell responses to human AIDS virus in macaques immunized with recombinant vaccinia viruses.


There is much interest in developing vaccines against acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), which is caused by a retrovirus termed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Isolates of this virus include human T-lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III), lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV), and AIDS-associated retrovirus (ARV). Several approaches towards the development of an AIDS vaccine result in the production of antibodies in subprimates. These methods involve the use of: antigens isolated from the AIDS virus; viral antigens expressed by transfected cells or by recombinant vaccinia viruses; and particular synthetic peptides of viral antigens. Because T-cell-mediated immunity (in addition to antibodies) is involved in resistance to diseases and death caused by various enveloped viruses, we sought to determine whether potential AIDS vaccines can induce T-cell responses against the AIDS virus. Here we report that immunization of non-human primates, Macaca fascicularis (macaques), with recombinant vaccinia viruses that express LAV envelope glycoproteins gp41 and gp110 results not only in the production of antibodies against the LAV envelope antigens but also in the generation of T-cells that proliferate and produce the lymphokine interleukin-2 (IL-2), in response to stimulation with purified LAV. We believe this is the first report demonstrating T-cell-mediated immunity to the virus that causes AIDS.

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