DNA immunization in combination with effective antiretroviral drug therapy controls viral rebound and prevents simian AIDS after treatment is discontinued

Deborah Heydenburg Fuller, Premeela A. Rajakumar, Mary S. Wu, Christopher W. McMahon, Tim Shipley, James T. Fuller, Afrouz Bazmi, Anita M. Trichel, Todd M. Allen, Bianca Mothe, Joel R. Haynes, David I. Watkins, Michael Murphey-Corb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

DNA immunization in conjunction with antiretroviral therapy was evaluated in SIV-infected rhesus macaques treated with [R]-9-[2-phosphonylmethoxypropyl]adenine (PMPA). Macaques were immunized monthly with DNA vaccines expressing either SIV gag/tat or SIV gag/tat and 19 CD8+ T cell epitopes during 7 months of therapy. Half the animals from each group were additionally immunized before infection. Only 60% of the animals (4 controls, 20 vaccinated) responded to PMPA (ART responders). All 4 ART responder controls demonstrated viral rebound or CD4 decline after PMPA was withdrawn. In contrast, 17 of 20 vaccinated ART responders contained viral rebound for over 7 months after PMPA was withdrawn. Viral control correlated with stable CD4 counts, higher lymphoproliferation and an increase in the magnitude and breadth of the CD8+ T cell response. Immunizing before infection or with multi-epitopes enhanced these effects. These results demonstrate that DNA immunization during antiretroviral therapy may be an effective strategy to treat HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-215
Number of pages16
JournalVirology
Volume348
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 25 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • DNA vaccine
  • Immunotherapy
  • SIV AIDS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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