Development of an effective preventive or therapeutic vaccine against HIV-1 is an important goal in the fight against AIDS. Effective virus clearance and inhibition of spread to target organs depends principally on the cellular immune response. Therefore, a vaccine against HIV-1 should elicit virus-specific cytotoxic lymphocyte (CTL) responses to eliminate the virus during the cell-associated stages of its life cycle. The vaccine should also be capable of inducing immunity at the mucosal surfaces, the primary route of transmission. Recombinant Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) expressing viral proteins offers an excellent candidate vaccine in view of its safety and ability to persist intracellularly, resulting in the induction of long-lasting immunity and stimulation of the cellular immune response. BCG can be administered orally to induce HIV-specific immunity at the mucosal surfaces. The immunogenicity of four recombinant BCG constructs expressing simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) Gag, Pol, Env, and Nef proteins was tested in rhesus macaques. A single simultaneous inoculation of all four recombinants elicited SIV-specific IgA and IgG antibody, and cellular immune responses, including CTL and helper T cell proliferation. Our results demonstrate that BCG recombinant vectors can induce concomitant humoral and cellular immune responses to the major proteins of SIV. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases