Presence of circulating CTL induced by infection with wild-type or attenuated SIV and their correlation with protection from pathogenic SHIV challenge

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of CTLs in the protection from challenge with pathogenic SHIV in macaques vaccinated with attenuated virus. More specifically, we have analyzed the CTL response in cynomolgus macaques vaccinated/infected with the attenuated SIVmacC8 or the wild-type SIVmacJ5 and correlated these responses to the protection from SHIV89.6P challenge. SIVmacC8-vaccinated monkeys demonstrated a broader CTL response that the SIVmacJ5-infected animals. Nevertheless, CTL against some proteins in SIVmacC8-vaccinated monkeys became progressively more difficult to detect through the day of challenge. In regards to protection from superinfection with SHIV89.6P, neither the presence of circulating CTL nor the CTL precursor frequency against any of the tested proteins correlated with the outcome of the challenge when SIVmacJ5-and SIVmacC8-infected animals were analyzed together. By analyzing the SIVmacC8-vaccinated animals separately, only the protected animal had detectable CTL precursors with moderate frequencies against all three tested proteins at the day of challenge.

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