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Retrovirology. 2008 Oct 17;5:94. doi: 10.1186/1742-4690-5-94.

SHIV-1157i and passaged progeny viruses encoding R5 HIV-1 clade C env cause AIDS in rhesus monkeys.

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



Infection of nonhuman primates with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) or chimeric simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) strains is widely used to study lentiviral pathogenesis, antiviral immunity and the efficacy of AIDS vaccine candidates. SHIV challenges allow assessment of anti-HIV-1 envelope responses in primates. As such, SHIVs should mimic natural HIV-1 infection in humans and, to address the pandemic, encode HIV-1 Env components representing major viral subtypes worldwide.


We have developed a panel of clade C R5-tropic SHIVs based upon env of a Zambian pediatric isolate of HIV-1 clade C, the world's most prevalent HIV-1 subtype. The parental infectious proviral clone, SHIV-1157i, was rapidly passaged through five rhesus monkeys. After AIDS developed in the first animal at week 123 post-inoculation, infected blood was infused into a sixth monkey. Virus reisolated at this late stage was still exclusively R5 tropic and mucosally transmissible. Here we describe the long-term follow-up of this initial cohort of six monkeys. Two have remained non-progressors, whereas the other four gradually progressed to AIDS within 123-270 weeks post-exposure. Two progressors succumbed to opportunistic infections, including a case of SV40 encephalitis.


These data document the disease progression induced by the first mucosally transmissible, pathogenic R5 non-clade B SHIV and suggest that SHIV-1157i-derived viruses, including the late-stage, highly replication-competent SHIV-1157ipd3N4 previously described (Song et al., 2006), display biological characteristics that mirror those of HIV-1 clade C and support their expanded use for AIDS vaccine studies in nonhuman primates.

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