Vaccination of cats with attenuated feline immunodeficiency virus proviral DNA vaccine expressing gamma interferon

Soumi Gupta, Christian M. Leutenegger, Gregg A. Dean, Jonathan D. Steckbeck, Kelly Stefano Cole, Ellen E. Sparger

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16 Scopus citations


A feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) provirus with a vif gene deletion (FIV ΔvifATG;γ) that coexpresses feline gamma interferon (IFN-γ) was tested as a proviral DNA vaccine to extend previous studies showing efficacy with an FIV-pPPRΔvif DNA vaccine. Cats were vaccinated with either FIVΔvifATGγ or FIV-pPPRΔvif proviral plasmid DNA or with both FIV-pPPRΔvif DNA and a feline IFN-γ expression plasmid (pCDNA-IFNγ). A higher frequency of FIV-specific T-cell proliferation responses was observed in cats immunized with either FIVΔvifATGγ or FIV-pPPRΔvif plus pCDNA-IFNγ, while virus-specific cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte responses were comparable between vaccine groups. Antiviral antibodies were not observed postvaccination. Virus-specific cellular and humoral responses were similar between vaccine groups after challenge with a biological FIV isolate (FIV-PPR) at 13 weeks postimmunization. All vaccinated and unvaccinated cats were infected after FIV-PPR challenge and exhibited similar plasma virus loads. Accordingly, inclusion of plasmids containing IFN-γ did not enhance the efficacy of FIV-pPPRΔvif DNA immunization. Interestingly, the lack of protection associated with FIV-pPPRΔvif DNA immunization contrasted with findings from a previous study and suggested that multiple factors, including timing of FIV-pPPRΔvif inoculations and challenge, as well as route of challenge virus delivery, may significantly impact vaccine efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-473
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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