A CCR5-tropic simian-HIV molecular clone capable of inducing AIDS in rhesus macaques
We previously reported the derivation of a CCR5 (R5)-tropic pathogenic strain SHIVSF162P3. Here, we show that a simian-HIV (SHIV) molecular clone expressing the entire env gp160 of SHIVSF162P3, termed SHIV P3gp160, could fully recapitulate the in vivo replicative characteristics of the parental isolate. SHIV P3gp160 is mucosally transmissible, preferentially depletes memory CD4 T cells, and induced simian AIDS in 2 of 6 infected macaques. The availability of an infectious R5 SHIV molecular clone that can be transmitted mucosally and causes disease provides an important reagent for studies of lentiviral pathogenesis and AIDS vaccine research.
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