Background: We investigated the interplay between complement and antibodies upon priming with single-cycle replicating viral vectors (SCIV) encoding SIV antigens combined with Adeno5-SIV or SCIV pseudotyped with murine leukemia virus envelope boosting strategies. The vaccine was applied via spray-immunization to the tonsils of rhesus macaques and compared with systemic regimens.
Results: Independent of the application regimen or route, viral loads were significantly reduced after challenge with SIVmac239 (p < 0.03) compared to controls. Considerable amounts of neutralizing antibodies were induced in systemic immunized monkeys. Most of the sera harvested during peak viremia exhibited a trend with an inverse correlation between complement C3-deposition on viral particles and plasma viral load within the different vaccination groups. In contrast, the amount of the observed complement-mediated lysis did not correlate with the reduction of SIV titres.
Conclusion: The heterologous prime-boost strategy with replication-deficient viral vectors administered exclusively via the tonsils did not induce any neutralizing antibodies before challenge. However, after challenge, comparable SIV-specific humoral immune responses were observed in all vaccinated animals. Immunization with single cycle immunodeficiency viruses mounts humoral immune responses comparable to live-attenuated immunodeficiency virus vaccines.