Background. In this study, we analyzed the protective efficacy of a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) macaque 239 (SIVmac239) analogue of the clinically tested GOVX-B11 deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)/modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) human immunodeficiency virus vaccine. Methods. The tested vaccine used a DNA immunogen mutated to mimic the human vaccine and a regimen with DNA deliveries at weeks 0 and 8 and MVA deliveries at weeks 16 and 32. Twelve weekly rectal challenges with 0.3 animal infectious doses of SIV sootey mangabey E660 (SIVsmE660) were administered starting at 6 months after the last immunization. Results. Over the first 6 rectal exposures to SIVsmE660, <10-year-old tripartite motif-containing protein 5 (TRIM5)α-permissive rhesus macaques showed an 80% reduction in per-exposure risk of infection as opposed to a 46% reduction in animals over 10 years old; and, over the 12 challenges, they showed a 72% as opposed to a 10% reduction. Analyses of elicited immune responses suggested that higher antibody responses in the younger animals had played a role in protection. Conclusions. The simian analogue of the GOVX-B11 HIV provided strong protection against repeated rectal challenges in young adult macaques.
Keywords: DNA/MVA vaccine; HIV vaccine; SIV; age-dependent protection; antibody.