Long-term protective immunity induced by an adjuvant-containing live-attenuated AIDS virus

NPJ Vaccines. 2021 Oct 22;6(1):124. doi: 10.1038/s41541-021-00386-5.


The use of an adjuvant in vaccination is thought to be effective for enhancing immune responses to various pathogens. We genetically constructed a live attenuated simian human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) to express the adjuvant molecule Ag85B (SHIV-Ag85B). SHIV-Ag85B could not be detected 4 weeks after injection in cynomolgus macaques, and strong SHIV-specific T cell responses were induced in these macaques. When the macaques in which SHIV-Ag85B had become undetectable were challenged with pathogenic SHIV89.6P at 37 weeks after SHIV-Ag85B had become undetectable, SHIV89.6P was not detected after the challenge. Eradication of SHIV89.6P was confirmed by adoptive transfer experiments and CD8-depletion studies. The SHIV-Ag85B-inoculated macaques showed enhancement of Gag-specific monofunctional and polyfunctional CD8+ T cells in the acute phase of the pathogenic SHIV challenge. The results suggest that SHIV-Ag85B elicited strong sterile immune responses against pathogenic SHIV and that it may lead to the development of a vaccine for AIDS virus infection.