Certain major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) alleles are associated with spontaneous control of viral replication in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected people and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)- infected rhesus macaques (RMs). These cases of "elite" control of HIV/SIV replication are often immune-mediated, thereby providing a framework for studying anti-lentiviral immunity. In this study, we examined how vaccination impacts SIV replication in RMs expressing the MHC-I allele Mamu-B*17. Approximately 21% of Mamu-B*17+ and 50% of Mamu-B*08+ RMs control chronic-phase viremia after SIVmac239 infection. Because CD8+ T cells targeting Mamu-B*08-restricted SIV epitopes have been implicated in virologic suppression in Mamu-B*08+ RMs, we investigated whether this might also be true for Mamu-B*17+ RMs. Two groups of Mamu-B*17+ RMs were vaccinated with genes encoding Mamu-B*17-restricted epitopes in Vif and Nef. These genes were delivered by themselves (group 1) or together with env (group 2). Group 3 included MHC-I-matched RMs and served as the control group. Surprisingly, the group 1 vaccine regimen had little effect on viral replication compared to group 3, suggesting that unlike Mamu-B*08+ RMs, preexisting SIV-specific CD8+ T cells alone do not facilitate long-term virologic suppression in Mamu-B*17+ RMs. Remarkably, however, 5/8 group 2 vaccinees controlled viremia to < 15 viral RNA copies/ml soon after infection. No serological neutralizing activity against SIVmac239 was detected in group 2, although vaccine-elicited gp140-binding antibodies correlated inversely with nadir viral loads. Collectively, these data shed new light on the unique mechanism of elite control in Mamu-B*17+ RMs and implicate vaccine-induced, nonneutralizing anti- Env antibodies in the containment of immunodeficiency virus infection.
- Human immunodeficiency virus
- Simian immunodeficiency virus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science