Background: To determine the correlation between protection and humoral immune response against simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVmac251), 11 macaques were immunized with live-attenuated SIVmac239Deltanef either intravenously or via the tonsils and exposed to SIVmac251 after either 6 or 15 months along with unvaccinated controls.
Results: Independent of the route of vaccine application, viremia was significantly reduced in vaccinees compared with controls 2 weeks post-challenge. Concomitantly, viremia correlated inversely with SIV-specific IgG, complement-mediated lysis and neutralizing antibodies and these parameters seemed to contribute to reduced viremia. During chronic infection, six monkeys controlled viremia in the circulation (two or fewer infectious units per 10(6) PBMCs) and showed no signs of trapping in lymphatic tissues (Appendix S1).
Conclusions: As no significant differences were observed throughout the study, with respect to the humoral immune response and viremia control, between the two vaccinated cohorts, mucosal immunization strategies are recommended due to more simplified application.