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J Virol. 2003 Jan;77(1):77-83.

Increased virus replication and virulence after serial passage of human immunodeficiency virus type 2 in baboons.

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Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA.


Similar to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection of humans, the natural history of HIV-2 infection in baboons (Papio cynocephalus) is a slow and chronic disease that generally takes several years before an AIDS-like condition develops. To shorten the amount of time to the development of disease, we performed five serial passages of HIV-2(UC2) in baboons by using blood and bone marrow samples during the acute phase of infection when viral loads were at high levels. After these serial passages, virus levels in plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and lymphatic tissues in the acutely infected baboons were increased. Within 1 year of the HIV-2 infection, all of the inoculated baboons showed specific signs of AIDS-related disease progression within the lymphatic tissues, such as vascular proliferation and lymphoid depletion. The HIV-2(UC2) recovered after four serial passages showed increased kinetics of viral replication in baboon PBMC and cytopathicity. This study suggests that the HIV-2 isolate recovered after several serial passages in baboons will be useful in future studies of AIDS pathogenesis and vaccine development by using this animal model.

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