Vesicular stomatitis Virus-Simian retrovirus type 2 vaccine protects macaques from detectable infection and B-cell destruction
Natural infection with simian retrovirus (SRV) has long been recognized in rhesus macaques (RMs) and may result in an AIDS-like disease. Importantly, SRV infections persist as a problem in recently imported macaques. Therefore, there is a clear need to control SRV spread in macaque colonies. We developed a recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-SRV vaccine consisting of replication-competent hybrid VSVs that express SRV gag and env in separate vectors. The goal of this study was to assess the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the VSV-SRV serotype 2 vaccine prime-boost approach in RMs. The VSV-SRV vector (expressing either SRV gag or env) vaccines were intranasally administered in 4 RMs, followed by a boost 1 month after the first vaccination. Four RMs served as controls and received the VSV vector alone. Two months after the boost, all animals were intravenously challenged with SRV-2 and monitored for 90 days. After the SRV-2 challenge, all four controls became infected, and viral loads (VLs) ranged from 106 to 108 SRV RNA copies/ml of plasma. Two animals in the control group developed simian AIDS within 7 to 8 weeks postinfection and were euthanized. Anemia and weight loss were observed in the remaining controls. During acute infection, severe B-cell depletion and no significant changes in T-cell population were observed in the control group. Control RMs with greater preservation of B cells and lower VLs survived longer. SRV-2 was undetectable in vaccinated animals, which remained healthy, with no clinical or biological signs of infection and preservation of B cells. Our study showed that the VSV-SRV vaccine is a strong approach for preventing clinically relevant type D retrovirus infection and disease in RMs, with protection of 4/4 RMs from SRV infection and prevention of B-cell destruction. B-cell protection was the strongest correlate of the long-term survival of all vaccinated and control RMs. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Journal of Virology
Gautam, R., Iyer, A., Hunter, M., Das, A., Williams, T., Dufour, J., Apetrei, C., Kousoulas, K., & Marx, P. (2011). Vesicular stomatitis Virus-Simian retrovirus type 2 vaccine protects macaques from detectable infection and B-cell destruction. Journal of Virology, 85 (12), 5889-5896. https://doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02523-10