The Indian rhesus macaque develops a disease that closely mimics human acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) when infected by simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) or chimeric simian-human immunodeficiency viruses (SHIV), and represents the best animal model for HIV infection. Because of the similarity of the immune systems of macaques and humans, preclinical vaccine development is heavily dependent on the SIV and SHIV macaque models. Their research value notwithstanding, nonhuman primates (NHPs) are complex, higher order species that require specialized infrastructure and expertise in a research setting. The NHP Core seeks to consolidate the experimental animal and cellular immunology portions of the HIV Vaccine Research and Design (HIVRAD) Program project, "Programming HIV Immune Response for Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies by Vaccination" into a single Core composed of highly experienced professional and technical personnel and state-of-the-art resources. The NHP Core, functioning within the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), will provide infrastructure and professional and technical expertise for the NHP experimental protocol and the antigen (Ag)-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell analyses supporting the "HIV Quasispecies Vaccine Immunogenicity and SHIV Challenge Study".
The Specific Aims are: 1) to provide specialized expertise and infrastructure for comprehensive, efficient and safe conduct of the nonhuman primate-related portions of the HIVRAD Program including animal selection, research protocol implementation and execution, sample acquisition and distribution, animal care, and project budget administration, and 2) to provide the HIVRAD Program with flow cytometric assays of Ag- specific T cell immunity and SHIV immunopathogenesis. The immune monitoring section of the Nonhuman Primate Core will provide sophisticated assays of SIV/HIV-specific T cell immunity (polychromatic cytokine flow cytometry) and SHIV immunopathogenesis (polychromatic phenotypic analysis) of SHIV target cell dynamics in blood and tissue.
A safe and effective vaccine remains the best hope of controlling the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pandemic. The studies in this proposal focus on developing vaccine strategies to promote broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibody, a key component of the host immune response against HIV that may prevent infection.
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