Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) DNA vaccine approaches that included a vif-deleted FIV provirus (FIV-pPPRΔvif) and feline cytokine expression plasmids were tested for immunogenicity and efficacy by immunization of specific pathogen free cats. Vaccine protocols included FIV-pPPRΔvif plasmid alone; a combination of FIV-pPPRΔvif DNA and feline granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α expression plasmids; or a combination of FIV-pPPRΔvif and feline interleukin (IL)-15 plasmids. Cats immunized with FIV-pPPRΔvif, GM-CSF and TNF-α plasmids demonstrated an increased frequency of FIV-specific T cell proliferation responses compared to other vaccine groups. Immunization with FIV-pPPRΔvif and IL-15 plasmids was distinguished from other vaccine protocols by the induction of antiviral antibodies. Suppression of virus loads was not observed for any of the FIV-pPPRΔvif DNA vaccine protocols after challenge with the FIV-PPR isolate. However, prior immunization with FIV-pPPRΔvif, GM-CSF, and TNF-α plasmids resulted in preservation of CD4 T cell functions, including mitogen-induced cytokine expression and antigen-specific proliferation upon infection with FIV. These findings justify further examination of cytokine combinations as adjuvants for lentiviral DNA vaccines.
- Cytokine adjuvants
- DNA vaccine
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Infectious Diseases
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Molecular Medicine