Immune stimulation may contribute to enhanced progression of SIV induced disease in rhesus macaques

Thomas Folks, Thomas Rowe, Francois Villinger, Bharat Parekh, Ann Mayne, Daniel Anderson, Harold McClure, Aftab A. Ansari

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Scopus citations


    A number of rhesus macaques experimentally infected with SIV isolates such as SIVmac251, fail to seroconvert, develop high plasma viremia and die rapidly (within 6-7 months p.i.). We hypothesized that such rapid progression is a result of a state of hyperimmune activation and concomitant immune suppression of these animals at the time of virus challenge. In efforts to test the hypothesis that immune activation leads to rapid progression of lentivirus-induced disease, adult rhesus macaques were infected with SIVmac251 and received an alternate monthly schedule of repeated immunization with allogeneic cells, keyhole limpet hemocyanin and tetanus toxoid (group I). For purposes of controls, a group of monkeys was infected with the same pool and dose of virus but were not immunized (group II) and a group was immunized with the same schedule of multiple antigens as group I but were not infected with SIV (group III). All the animals in group I (n=3) either failed to seroconvert or developed very low levels of SIV antibodies, had high plasma p27 defined antigenemia, and died within 8 months (2/3 died within 4 months). Of the animals in group II (n=8), two patterns emerged as we had noted before. One subgroup (3 animals), displayed the same profile as group I (failure to fully seroconvert, high p27 levels and death by 8 months), whereas the other subgroup (5 animals) seroconverted, had low plasma p27 levels, and survived past 11 months (2/5 still alive past 22 months). All 3 animals in group III remained healthy. The data provided herein suggest that either experimental or natural (due to factors not clear at present) immune stimulation may lead to accelerated lentivirus induced disease progression most likely due to immune suppression and has implications for the understanding of the mechanisms for the rate of disease progression in human HIV-1 infection.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)181-189
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of medical primatology
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1997


    • AIDS
    • Immune enhancement
    • Nonhuman primate
    • SIV

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • veterinary(all)


    Dive into the research topics of 'Immune stimulation may contribute to enhanced progression of SIV induced disease in rhesus macaques'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this