[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that long-term rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV) excretion in infected macaques was related to UL/b' coding content. Acute biopsy specimens of the inoculation sites from the previous study have now been analyzed to determine whether there were acute phenotypic predictors of long-term RhCMV infection. Only in animals displaying acute endothelial tropism and neutrophilic inflammation was RhCMV excretion detected. The results imply that vaccinating against these early viral determinants would significantly impede long-term RhCMV infection.
Journal of Virology 04/2012; 86(11):6354-7. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Implicit with the use of animal models to test human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) vaccines is the assumption that the viral challenge of vaccinated animals reflects the anticipated virus-host interactions following exposure of vaccinated humans to HCMV. Variables of animal vaccine studies include the route of exposure to and the titer of challenge virus, as well as the genomic coding content of the challenge virus. This study was initiated to provide a better context for conducting vaccine trials with nonhuman primates by determining whether the in vivo phenotype of culture-passaged strains of rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV) is comparable to that of wild-type RhCMV (RhCMV-WT), particularly in relation to the shedding of virus into bodily fluids and the potential for horizontal transmission. Results of this study demonstrate that two strains containing a full-length UL/b' region of the RhCMV genome, which encodes proteins involved in epithelial tropism and immune evasion, were persistently shed in large amounts in bodily fluids and horizontally transmitted, whereas a strain lacking a complete UL/b' region was not shed or transmitted to cagemates. Shedding patterns exhibited by strains encoding a complete UL/b' region were consistent with patterns observed in naturally infected monkeys, the majority of whom persistently shed high levels of virus in saliva for extended periods of time after seroconversion. Frequent viral shedding contributed to a high rate of infection, with RhCMV-infected monkeys transmitting virus to one naïve animal every 7 weeks after introduction of RhCMV-WT into an uninfected cohort. These results demonstrate that the RhCMV model can be designed to rigorously reflect the challenges facing HCMV vaccine trials, particularly those related to horizontal transmission.
Journal of Virology 03/2011; 85(10):5105-14. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of animal models of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection is critical to refine HCMV vaccine candidates. Previous reports have demonstrated that immunization of rhesus monkeys against rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV) can reduce both local and systemic replication of RhCMV following experimental RhCMV challenge. These studies used prime/boost combinations of DNA expression plasmids alone or DNA priming and boosting with either inactivated virion particles or modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) expressing the same antigens. Viral outcomes included reduced RhCMV replication at the site of subcutaneous inoculation and RhCMV viremia following intravenous inoculation. Since shedding of cytomegalovirus from mucosal surfaces is critical for horizontal transmission of the virus, DNA priming/MVA boosting was evaluated for the ability to reduce oral shedding of RhCMV following subcutaneous challenge. Of six rhesus monkeys vaccinated exclusively against RhCMV glycoprotein B (gB), phosphoprotein 65 (pp65), and immediate-early 1 (IE1), half showed viral loads in saliva that were lower than those of control monkeys by 1 to 3 orders of magnitude. Further, there was a strong association of memory pp65 T cell responses postchallenge in animals exhibiting the greatest reduction in oral shedding. These results highlight the fact that a DNA/MVA vaccination regimen can achieve a notable reduction in a critical parameter of viral replication postchallenge. The recently completed clinical trial of a gB subunit vaccine in which the rate of HCMV infection was reduced by 50% in the individuals receiving the vaccine is consistent with the results of this study suggesting that additional immunogens are likely essential for maximum protection in an outbred human population.
Journal of Virology 03/2011; 85(6):2878-90. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the ability of a vaccine formulated with the genital Chlamydia trachomatis, serovar F, native major outer membrane protein (Ct-F-nMOMP), to induce systemic and mucosal immune responses, rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) were immunized three times by the intramuscular (i.m.) and subcutaneous (s.c.) routes using CpG-2395 and Montanide ISA 720 VG, as adjuvants. As controls, another group of M. mulatta was immunized with ovalbumin instead of Ct-F-nMOMP using the same formulation and routes. High levels of Chlamydia-specific IgG and IgA antibodies were detected in plasma, vaginal washes, tears, saliva, and stools from the Ct-F-nMOMP immunized animals. Also, high neutralizing antibody titers were detected in the plasma from these animals. Monkeys immunized with ovalbumin had no detectable Chlamydia-specific antibodies. Furthermore, as measured by a lymphoproliferative assay, significant Chlamydia-specific cell-mediated immune responses were detected in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from the rhesus macaques vaccinated with Ct-F-nMOMP when compared with the animals immunized with ovalbumin. In addition, the levels of two Th1 cytokines, IFN-γ and TNF-α, were significantly higher in the animals immunized with Ct-F-nMOMP when compared with those from the monkeys immunized with ovalbumin. To our knowledge, this is the first time that mucosal and systemic immune responses have been investigated in a nonhuman primate model using a subunit vaccine from a human genital C. trachomatis serovar.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recent comparison of two rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV) genomes revealed that the region at the right end of the U(L) genome component (U(L)b') undergoes genetic alterations similar to those observed in serially passaged human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). To determine the coding content of authentic wild-type RhCMV in this region, the U(L)b' sequence was amplified from virus obtained from naturally infected rhesus macaques without passage in vitro. A total of 24 open reading frames (ORFs) potentially encoding >99 amino acid residues were identified, 10 of which are related to HCMV ORFs and 15 to previously listed RhCMV ORFs. In addition, the analysis revealed a cluster of three novel alpha chemokine-like ORFs, bringing the number of predicted alpha chemokine genes in this region to six. Three of these six genes exhibit a high level of sequence diversity, as has been observed for the HCMV alpha chemokine gene UL146.