Immunization with an SIV-based IDLV Expressing HIV-1 Env 1086 Clade C Elicits Durable Humoral and Cellular Responses in Rhesus Macaques.
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The design of an effective HIV-1 vaccine remains a major challenge. Several vaccine strategies based on viral vectors have been evaluated in preclinical and clinical trials, with largely disappointing results. Integrase defective lentiviral vectors (IDLV) represent a promising vaccine candidate given their ability to induce durable and protective immune responses in mice after a single immunization. Here, we evaluated the immunogenicity of a SIV-based IDLV in nonhuman primates. Six rhesus monkeys were primed intramuscularly with IDLV-Env and boosted with the same vector after 1 year. A single immunization with IDLV-Env induced broad humoral and cellular immune responses that waned over time but were still detectable at 1 year postprime. The boost with IDLV-Env performed at 1 year from the prime induced a remarkable increase in both antibodies and T-cell responses. Antibody binding specificity showed a predominant cross-clade gp120-directed response. Monkeys' sera efficiently blocked anti-V2 and anti-CD4 binding site antibodies, neutralized the tier 1 MW965.26 pseudovirus and mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). Durable polyfunctional Env-specific T-cell responses were also elicited. Our study demonstrates that an IDLV-Env-based vaccine induces functional, comprehensive, and durable immune responses in Rhesus macaques. These results support further evaluation of IDLV as a new HIV-1 vaccine delivery platform.