Prophylactic vaccination inducing anti-Env antibodies can result in protection against HTLV-1 challenge in macaques

by | May 12, 2024 | Publications

Mol Ther. 2024 May 10:S1525-0016(24)00323-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2024.05.020. Online ahead of print.


HTLV-1 infection occurs by cell-to-cell transmission and can induce fatal adult T-cell leukemia (ATL). Vaccine development is critical for the control of HTLV-1 transmission. However, determining whether vaccine-induced anti-Env antibodies can prevent cell-to-cell HTLV-1 transmission is challenging. Here, we examined the protective efficacy of a vaccine inducing anti-Env antibodies against HTLV-1 challenge in cynomolgus macaques. Eight of ten vaccinated macaques produced anti-HTLV-1 neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and were protected from an intravenous challenge with 108 HTLV-1-producing cells. In contrast, the two vaccinated macaques without NAb induction and ten unvaccinated controls showed HTLV-1 infection with detectable proviral load after challenge. Five of the eight protected macaques were administered with an anti-CD8 monoclonal antibody, but proviruses remained undetectable and no increase in anti-HTLV-1 antibodies was observed even after CD8+ cell depletion in three of them. Analysis of Env-specific T cell responses did not suggest involvement of vaccine-induced Env-specific T cell responses in the protection. These results indicate that anti-Env antibody induction by vaccination can result in functionally sterile HTLV-1 protection, implying the rationale for strategies aimed at anti-Env antibody induction in prophylactic HTLV-1 vaccine development.

PMID:38734900 | DOI:10.1016/j.ymthe.2024.05.020

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