1887

Abstract

Infection of macaques with live attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) usually results in long-lasting efficient protection against infection with pathogenic immunodeficiency viruses. However, attenuation by deletion of regulatory genes such as is not complete, leading to a high viral load and fatal disease in some animals. To characterize immunological parameters and polymorphic host factors, we studied 17 rhesus macaques infected with attenuated SIVmac239ΔNU. Eight animals were able to control viral replication, whereas the remaining animals (non-controllers) displayed variable set-point viral loads. Peak viral load at 2 weeks post-infection (p.i.) correlated significantly with set-point viral load (<0.0001). CD4 T-cell frequencies differed significantly soon after infection between controllers and non-controllers. Abnormal B-cell activation previously ascribed to Nef function could already be observed in non-controllers 8 weeks after infection despite the absence of Nef. Two non-controllers developed an AIDS-like disease within 102 weeks p.i. Virus from these animals transmitted to naïve animals replicated at low levels and the recipients did not develop immunodeficiency. This suggested that host factors determined differential viral load and subsequent disease course. Known Mhc class I alleles associated with disease progression in SIV WT infection only marginally influenced the viral load in Δ-infected animals. Protection from SIVmac251 was associated with homozygosity for MHC class II in conjunction with a polymorphism and showed a trend with initial viral replication. We speculated that host factors whose effects were usually masked by Nef were responsible for the different disease courses in individual animals upon infection with -deleted viruses.

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2014-10-01
2019-11-15
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