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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1998 Oct 10;14(15):1357-67.

Genital infection of female chimpanzees with human immunodeficiency virus type 1.

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Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


To develop an animal model for mucosal HIV-1 infection, adult chimpanzees were inoculated without trauma by depositing the virus inoculum at the entrance to the cervical canal with a rigid catheter to which flexible tubing was attached. By this procedure, persistent infections were established in some chimpanzees with various infectious doses of either cell-associated HIV-1LAI(IIIB) (peripheral blood mononuclear cells from an infected chimpanzee) or with cell-free HIV-1 strains representing subtypes B and E, but not with a subtype A strain. Although some animals did not become infected until after the second or third cervicovaginal exposure, one chimpanzee was clearly infected after one exposure by several criteria, including virus isolation, but this animal did not seroconvert. A second chimpanzee appeared to be resistant to infection despite repeated mucosal exposures at irregular intervals. However, lymphocytes from both of these animals exhibited low-level proliferative responses to HIV-1 but not SIV antigens. Despite these apparently abortive or latent infections, after exposure to HIV-1 by the intravenous route, both animals developed systemic infections and seroconverted. Overall, 8 of 10 chimpanzees were infected systemically after one to three cervicovaginal exposures to HIV-1LAI(IIIB). The results indicate that (1) HIV-1 productive infection of female chimpanzees by the cervicovaginal route generally requires more than one exposure, just as with humans; (2) low level infections without seroconversion can be established after mucosal exposure to HIV; and (3) vaccine efficacy studies involving a single virus challenge of immunized chimpanzees by the cervicovaginal route probably will not be possible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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