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Curr HIV Res. 2006 Oct;4(4):431-46.

Animal models used for the evaluation of antiretroviral therapies.

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Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.


Several animal models for the study of HIV/AIDS have been established and characterized and have been widely used to study the pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS as well as vaccine development. The purpose of this study was to review the literature and identify the animal models most frequently used for the evaluation of drugs, drug combinations, plant extracts and drug-plant combinations. Four of these animal models were evaluated namely the SIV model due to its similarities in pathogenesis of disease to humans, the FIV and the LP-BM5 model due to wide availability and the SCID murine model that combines components of both systems. The pathogenesis of disease in each model, application in the evaluation of drugs, drug combinations and plant extracts as well as the inherent advantages and disadvantages of each model are discussed. The LP-BM5 murine AIDS (MAIDS) model with its in vitro equivalent was identified as the animal model, although not identical to HIV/AIDS, most suitable for the rapid and cost effective initial screening of drugs, drug combinations, plant extracts and drug-plant combinations.

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