Antibodies in Vaccine Protection against SIV and HIV-1 Infection

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Antibodies in Vaccine Protection against SIV and HIV-1 Infection

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Title: Antibodies in Vaccine Protection against SIV and HIV-1 Infection
Author: Alpert, Michael
Citation: Alpert, Michael. 2011. Antibodies in Vaccine Protection against SIV and HIV-1 Infection. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: The properties of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and its simian counterpart SIV that enable persistent replication in the face of robust cellular, antibody, and innate immune responses have complicated efforts to develop a safe and effective vaccine. Vaccine protection against HIV-1 infection may require a combination of immune mechanisms. However, the types of immune responses that can be induced by vaccination to prevent HIV-1 infection remain unclear. The features of the viral envelope glycoprotein (Env) that confer inherent resistance to neutralization by antibodies also interfere with the development of antibody responses. We therefore vaccinated rhesus macaques with single-cycle SIV (scSIV) strains expressing Env proteins mutated to remove features that interfere with the induction of antibody responses. Antibodies capable of neutralizing Env-modified but not wild-type SIV were selectively enhanced. Identifying the immune responses underlying complete protection by live-attenuated SIV against pathogenic SIV challenge may provide guidance for HIV-1 vaccine design. To test the hypothesis that antibodies not measurable by assays for virus neutralization correlate with protection by live-attenuated SIV, we developed a novel assay for antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). ADCC activity increased progressively over time after inoculation, and was measurable against viruses expressing heterologous Env proteins from independent SIV isolates when neutralization was undetectable. Two separate pathogenic \(SIV_{mac}251\) challenge experiments took advantage of either the strain specificity or the time-dependent development of immunity to overcome complete protection by live-attenuated SIV. In both experiments, macaques inoculated with live-attenuated SIV that remained uninfected by \(SIV_{mac}251\) had significantly higher ADCC activity than those that became infected. We also measured ADCC for the primary immune correlates analysis of a recent HIV-1 vaccine clinical trial in Thailand (RV144) that reported modest vaccine protection (31%). There was a nonsignificant trend towards lower risk of infection among vaccinees with high versus low relative ADCC activity. However, Env-specific IgA correlated with risk, prompting an analysis stratified by IgA levels. Among vaccinees with low Env-specific IgA, there was lower risk of infection among those with higher ADCC activity. These observations suggest that antibodies that direct ADCC may contribute to vaccine protection against SIV and HIV-1 infection.
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