Chimeric Influenza Virus Replicating Predominantly in the Murine Upper Respiratory Tract Induces Local Immune Responses against Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 in the Genital Tract

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Previously, a mucosal model of immunization against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) was established by using influenza virus as a vector for the neutralizing gp41 epitope ELDKWA. Whether replication of this chimeric influenza virus in the upper respiratory tract of mice is sufficient for inducing mucosal immune responses in the genital tract was investigated. An immunization strategy was established that permits the virus to replicate in the murine upper respiratory tracts but not in the lungs. Intranasal application of the chimeric virus induced HIV-1-specific antibodies in sera and genital tract. In addition, chimeric virus-specific antibody-secreting cells were detected in lymphocyte populations obtained from lungs, spleens, and urogenital tracts. These results indicate that replication of the chimeric influenza/ELDKWA virus in the upper respiratory tract is sufficient to induce systemic immune responses as well as local immune responses in the genital tract.

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