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Immunol Lett. 1996 Jun;51(1-2):129-35.

Attenuated SIV imparts immunity to challenge with pathogenic spleen-derived SIV but cannot prevent repair of the nef deletion.

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Department of Virology and Immunology, German Primate Centre, Göttingen, Germany.


To date, some success has been achieved with several experimental vaccines against AIDS in the available animal models. In the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) macaque model protection against superinfection was obtained by preinfection with a virus attenuated by a deletion in nef. To investigate the efficacy of SIVmac32H(pC8), a nef deletion mutant of SIVmac251, as a live-attenuated vaccine, rhesus monkeys were infected intravenously (i.v.) with this virus. All monkeys became productively infected by the pC8 virus. The animals had low cell-associated viral loads but developed a strong cellular and humoral antiviral immune response. Two out of eight preinfected monkeys developed signs of immunodeficiency and were excluded from the challenge. Sequence analysis of reisolates from one of them revealed a complete repair of the nef deletion. The remaining six monkeys, two preinfected for 42 weeks and four for 22 weeks, were challenged i.v. with a pathogenic SIV derived ex vivo from the spleen of a SIV infected macaque. Four of the monkeys challenged resisted the second infection whereas in two monkeys preinfected for 22 weeks full length nef was detectable. All monkeys maintained a virus-specific CD4-cell proliferative response after challenge. Thus, even after short preinfection periods with an attenuated SIV sterilising immunity against a challenge with a pathogenic SIV can be obtained. However, such a vaccine is unsafe since the attenuated virus frequently reverts to a more virulent form.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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