Evaluation of vaccination strategies against infection with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) based on recombinant viral vectors expressing FIV Rev and OrfA
In recent years it has become clear that cell-mediated immunity is playing a role in the control of lentivirus infections. In particular, cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses have been associated with improved outcome of infection, especially those directed against the regulatory proteins like Rev and Tat, which are expressed early after infection. Therefore, there is considerable interest in lentiviral vaccine candidates that can induce these types of immune responses. In the present study, we describe the construction and characterisation of expression vectors based on recombinant Semliki Forest virus system and modified vaccinia virus Ankara for the expression of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) accessory proteins Rev and OrfA. These recombinant viral vectors were used to immunize cats using a prime-boost regimen and the protective efficacy of this vaccination strategy was assessed after challenge infection of immunized cats with FIV.