The human papillomavirus pseudovirions (HPV-PsVs) approach is an effective gene-delivery system that can prime or boost an immune response in the vaginal tract of nonhuman primates and mice. Intravaginal vaccination with HPV-PsVs expressing SIV genes, combined with an i.m. gp120 protein injection, induced humoral and cellular SIV-specific responses in macaques. Priming systemic immune responses with i.m. immunization with ALVAC-SIV vaccines, followed by intravaginal HPV-PsV-SIV/gp120 boosting, expanded and/or recruited T cells in the female genital tract. Using a stringent repeated low-dose intravaginal challenge with the highly pathogenic SIVmac251, we show that although these regimens did not demonstrate significant protection from virus acquisition, they provided control of viremia in a number of animals. High-avidity Ab responses to the envelope gp120 V1/V2 region correlated with delayed SIVmac251 acquisition, whereas virus levels in mucosal tissues were inversely correlated with antienvelope CD4(+) T cell responses. CD8(+) T cell depletion in animals with controlled viremia caused an increase in tissue virus load in some animals, suggesting a role for CD8(+) T cells in virus control. This study highlights the importance of CD8(+) cells and antienvelope CD4(+) T cells in curtailing virus replication and antienvelope V1/V2 Abs in preventing SIVmac251 acquisition.
Copyright © 2014 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.