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Infection of baboons with simian/human immunodeficiency viruses.

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  • 1Department of Virology and Immunology, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, TX 78228, USA.


Baboons were evaluated for their utility to serve as a model for testing envelope-based vaccines against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The ability of HIV-1 strains IIIB, RF, and SF2 to infect baboons was compared with that of simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) recombinant viruses comprised of either HXB2 or SF2 env, tat, rev, and vpu genes inserted into the SIVmac239 backbone. Both SHIV recombinants replicated in baboon PBMC in vitro, while no evidence of replication was noted for HIV-1 strains (MN, IIIB, SF2). Infection of baboons in vivo correlated with the restriction of infection in vitro. Virus was recovered by cocultivation methods early after SHIV (HXBc2) infection of two baboons with seroconversion profiles that parallel those observed in simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)mac-infected rhesus monkeys. One of two baboons inoculated with SHIV(SF2) also seroconverted within 4 weeks; however, the kinetics of infection in a second animal appeared much later, with seroconversion to gp120 not evident until 20 weeks and no virus recovery during 32 weeks following infection. Viral DNA was detected in the lymph nodes of the SHIV-inoculated animals by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. Histopathologic changes were evident in lymph nodes, yet no overt clinical disease was observed. When HIV-1 strains (IIIB, RF, and SF2) were inoculated into baboons, virus was not recovered and no seroconversion to the major HIV-1 antigens was observed. However, viral DNA from the lymph nodes of four animals inoculated with HIV-1 strains could be detected by nested PCR, indicating a persistent but diminutive infection of HIV-1. The baboon thus represents a new animal model for testing HIV-1 envelope-based vaccines including the evaluation of new immunogens, dosages, routes, and adjuvants that act in eliciting protective responses.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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