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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2012 Jan;28(1):16-35. doi: 10.1089/AID.2011.0234. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

The use of nonhuman primate models of HIV infection for the evaluation of antiviral strategies.

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California National Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis, 95616, USA.


Several nonhuman primate models are used in HIV/AIDS research. In contrast to natural host models, infection of macaques with virulent simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) isolates results in a disease (simian AIDS) that closely resembles HIV infection and AIDS. Although there is no perfect animal model, and each of the available models has its limitations, a carefully designed study allows experimental approaches that are not feasible in humans, but that can provide better insights in disease pathogenesis and proof-of-concept of novel intervention strategies. In the early years of the HIV pandemic, nonhuman primate models played a minor role in the development of antiviral strategies. Since then, a better understanding of the disease and the development of better compounds and assays to monitor antiviral effects have increased the usefulness and relevance of these animal models in the preclinical development of HIV vaccines, microbicides, and antiretroviral drugs. Several strategies that were first discovered to have efficacy in nonhuman primate models are now increasingly used in humans. Recent trends include the use of nonhuman primate models to explore strategies that could reduce viral reservoirs and, ultimately, attempt to cure infection. Ongoing comparison of results obtained in nonhuman primate models with those observed in human studies will lead to further validation and improvement of these animal models so they can continue to advance our scientific knowledge and guide clinical trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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