Eighteen rhesus monkeys were vaccinated with recombinant vaccinia viruses expressing SIVmac antigens in 3 separate rounds of experiments. Twelve of the monkeys were primed with a trivalent vaccinia virus recombinant expressing Gag, Pol, and Env polypeptides that can assemble into SIV pseudovirion particles and boosted with SIV particles in adjuvant. Four of the monkeys were primed with different vaccinia virus recombinants expressing env or gag + env followed by SIV particle boosts; two received vaccinia virus recombinants alone (env or env + gag). Despite the induction of vigorous immune responses, 17 of 18 rhesus monkeys became infected on challenge with a low dose of virulent SIVmac. The single protected animal was one of three challenged with homologous cloned SIV exactly matched to the clone used for construction of trivalent vaccinia virus recombinant and particles. Vaccination may have diminished SIV burdens and rates of CD4+ cell declines in some of the animals, but vaccinated/challenged/infected animals eventually developed fatal disease similar to control animals. These results highlight the extreme difficulty in achieving vaccine protection against virulent SIVmac infection even under idealized laboratory conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases