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HIV/AIDS vaccine shows long-term protection against multiple exposures in non-human primates
Date:3/7/2012

An Atlanta research collaboration may be one step closer to finding a vaccine that will provide long-lasting protection against repeated exposures to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Scientists at Emory University and GeoVax Labs, Inc. developed a vaccine that has protected nonhuman primates against multiple exposures to simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) given in three clusters over more than three years. SIV is the nonhuman primate version of HIV.

Harriet L. Robinson, PhD, chief scientific officer at GeoVax Labs, Inc., and former director of the division of microbiology and immunology at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, has been leading the research team with Rama Rao Amara, PhD, associate professor of microbiology and immunology, Yerkes National Primate Research Center and the Emory Vaccine Center.

The research was presented Wednesday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle, Wash.

The vaccine regimen included a DNA prime vaccine that co-expressed HIV proteins and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). GM-CSF is a normal protein that promotes the initiation of immune responses and thus enhances the ability of the vaccine to elicit blocking antibodies for the SIV virus before it enters cells.

Vaccination consisted of two DNA inoculations at months 0 and 2 to prime the vaccine response and then two booster inoculations at months 4 and 6. The booster vaccine was MVA, an attenuated poxvirus expressing HIV proteins. Six months after the last vaccination, both vaccinated and unvaccinated animals were exposed to SIV through 12 weekly exposures, resulting in an 87 percent per exposure efficacy and 70 percent overall protection. Over the next two years uninfected animals were exposed multiple times in two more series, resulting in an 82 percent per exposure efficacy during the second series and an 84 percent per exposure efficacy during the third series.


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Contact: Holly Korschun
hkorsch@emory.edu
404-727-3990
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

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