Recombinant, replication-competent rabies virus (RV) vaccine strain-based vectors were developed expressing HIV type I (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein (gp160) from both a laboratory-adapted (CXCR4-tropic) and a primary (dual-tropic) HIV-1 isolate. An additional transcription stop/start unit within the RV genome was used to express HIV-1 gp160 in addition to the other RV proteins. The HIV-1 gp160 protein was stably and functionally expressed, as indicated by fusion of human T cell lines after infection with the recombinant RVs. Inoculation of mice with the recombinant RVs expressing HIV-1 gp160 induced a strong humoral response directed against the HIV-1 envelope protein after a single boost with recombinant HIV-1 gp120 protein. Moreover, high neutralization titers up to 1:800 against HIV-1 could be detected in the mouse sera. These data indicate that a live recombinant RV, a rhabdovirus, expressing HIV-1 gp160 may serve as an effective vector for an HIV-1 vaccine.