Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) is a primate lentivirus related to human immunodeficiency viruses and is an etiologic agent for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-like diseases in macaques. To date, only inactivated whole virus vaccines have been shown to protect macaques against SIV infection. Protective immunity was elicited by recombinant subunit vaccines. Four Macaca fascicularis were immunized with recombinant vaccinia virus expressing SIVmne gp160 and were boosted with gp160 produced in baculovirus-infected cells. All four animals were protected against an intravenous challenge of the homologous virus at one to nine animal-infectious doses. These results indicate that immunization with viral envelope antigens alone is sufficient to elicit protective immunity against a primate immunodeficiency virus. The combination immunization regimen, similar to one now being evaluated in humans as candidate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 vaccines, appears to be an effective way to elicit such immune responses.

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