A macaque monkey infected with NM-3, a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-simian immunodeficiency virus strain mac (SIVmac) chimeric virus with and derived from HIV-1 and LTR, and derived from SIVmac, became a long-term carrier (more than 2.8 years). This monkey produced neutralizing antibodies to the original NM-3 as well as to the parental HIV-1. The virus recovered at 116 weeks replicated more rapidly and productively in macaque peripheral blood mononuclear cells than the original virus. The recovered virus was not neutralized either by antibodies raised early in the monkey or by a neutralizing monoclonal antibody that recognizes the V3 loop of HIV-1 Env, whereas both the early antibodies and the monoclonal antibody neutralized the original NM-3. Analysis of the virus genomic population revealed a few common mutations in the V3 region that caused amino acid changes. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the virus escaped from the early antibodies and that the observed mutations contributed to this, as with HIV-1-infected humans. The observed mutations could equally well be the result of adaptation to simian cells. These results suggest that the HIV-1-SIVmac chimeric virus will be useful for investigating genetic variation of HIV-1 and alteration of biological properties in relation to the host immune response.


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