We have previously reported that concanavalin A-immobilized polystyrene nanospheres (Con A-NS) could efficiently capture HIV-1 particles and that intranasal immunization with inactivated HIV-1-capturing nanospheres (HIV-NS) induced vaginal anti-HIV-1 IgA antibody response in mice. In this study, to evaluate the protective effect of immunization, each three macaques was intranasally immunized with Con A-NS or inactivated simian/human immunodeficiency virus KU-2-capturing nanospheres (SHIV-NS) and then intravaginally challenged with a pathogenic virus, SHIV KU-2. After a series of six immunizations, vaginal anti-HIV-1 gp120 IgA and IgG antibodies were detected in all SHIV-NS-immunized macaques. After intravaginal challenge, one of the three macaques in each of the Con A-NS- and SHIV-NS-immunized groups was infected. Plasma viral RNA load of infected macaque in SHIV-NS-immunized macaques was substantially less than that in unimmunized control macaque and reached below the detectable level. However, it could not be determined whether intranasal immunization with SHIV-NS is effective in giving complete protection against intravaginal challenge. To explore the effect of the SHIV-NS vaccine, the remaining non-infected macaques were rechallenged intravenously with SHIV KU-2. After intravenous challenge, all macaques became infected. However, SHIV-NS-immunized macaques had lower viral RNA loads and higher CD4(+) T cell counts than unimmunized control macaques. Plasma anti-HIV-1 gp120 IgA and IgG antibodies were induced more rapidly in the SHIV-NS-immunized macaques than in the controls. The rapid antibody responses having neutralizing activity might contribute to the clearance of the challenge virus. Thus, SHIV-NS-immunized macaques exhibited partial protection to vaginal and systemic challenges with SHIV KU-2.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.