Immune Correlates of HIV Prevention


The goal is to understand specific characteristics of immune responses that protect against pathogenic SIV infection in rhesus macaques, using a live attenuated SIV vaccine known to provide complete SIV protection as well as other approaches that provide partial protection, including the prime-boost DNA/adenovirus regimen under evaluation in large-scale clinical trials.

In collaboration with Julie McElrath (FHCRC) and Louis Picker (OHSU), the study will include primates and human highly-exposed individuals, the latter recruited as HIV uninfected partners in HIV discordant couples enrolled in the Partners in Prevention trial from the Kampala and Johannesburg sites.

A comprehensive data matrix profile will be generated, comparing immunologic, virologic and genetic parameters with SIV protection. Factors that best correlate with protection will be validated in further collaborative studies in macaques, using a more stringent heterologous viral challenge.

Similar investigations will use specimens archived from the African HIV discordant couples enrolled in the Partners in Prevention trial and an observational cohort in Kampala and Johannesburg, in which plasma, DNA and PBMCs are available from both the HIV infected and uninfected partners as well as transmitting couples. These findings will identify the key features of immunity an effective HIV vaccine must target.