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Macaque studies suggest vector-based cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccines could limit the extent of initial HIV infection and eventually eliminate it. In normal macaques challenged with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), preimmunization with a CMV-based vaccine expressing SIV proteins decreased the extent of initial infection in lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow and other tissues compared with preimmunization using empty vector. During follow-on studies in the immunized macaques that exhibited this limited initial infection, viral loads in plasma and tissue remained below detectable levels with only infrequent, transient episodes of viremia. At the end of the 3.5-year follow-up period, multiple tissues from these macaques exhibited low viral DNA or RNA levels that were indistinguishable from vaccinated, unchallenged macaques. Planned work by TomegaVax Inc. includes testing whether the CMV-based vaccine can control and clear virus in macaques with established SIV infection.

SciBX 6(39); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1099
Published online Oct. 10, 2013

Patented by Oregon Health & Science University; licensed to TomegaVax

Hansen, S.G. et al. Nature; published online Sept. 11, 2013;
Contact: Louis J. Picker, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Ore.
Contact: Jeffrey D. Lifson, SAIC Frederick Inc., Frederick, Md.