Induction of mucosal and systemic immunity to a recombinant simian immunodeficiency viral protein

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  20 Nov 1992:
Vol. 258, Issue 5086, pp. 1365-1369
DOI: 10.1126/science.1360702


Heterosexual transmission through the cervico-vaginal mucosa is the principal route of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in Africa and is increasing in the United States and Europe. Vaginal immunization with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) had not yet been studied in nonhuman primates. Immune responses in macaques were investigated by stimulation of the genital and gut-associated lymphoid tissue with a recombinant, particulate SIV antigen. Vaginal, followed by oral, administration of the vaccine elicited three types of immunity: (i) gag protein p27-specific, secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) in the vaginal fluid, (ii) specific CD4+ T cell proliferation and helper function in B cell p27-specific IgA synthesis in the genital lymph nodes, and (iii) specific serum IgA and IgG, with CD4+ T cell proliferative and helper functions in the circulating blood.