SIV/HIV-1 hybrid virus expressing the reverse transcriptase gene of HIV-1 remains sensitive to HIV-1-specific reverse transcriptase inhibitors after passage in rhesus macaques.


We have previously described an animal model for the therapy of human ...
We have previously described an animal model for the therapy of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection with HIV-1-specific reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors based on a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), in which the RT gene of SIV was replaced by the RT gene of HIV-1. In vitro, replication of the hybrid virus, RT-SHIV, was delayed compared with parental SIV. RT-SHIV could induce AIDS-like symptoms and pathologic alterations in rhesus macaques. Characterization of re-isolates recovered from RT-SHIV-infected macaques one-half year after infection revealed that the re-isolates replicated with kinetics similar to those of SIV. Inefficient processing of the Gag-Pol precursor of RT-SHIV may be one reason for the retarded growth of RT-SHIV, because the protease cleavage site between the protease gene and the RT gene was frequently mutated in the RT-SHIV re-isolates. Adaptation of RT-SHIV to the growth in macaques did not result in a relevant loss of sensitivity to nonnucleoside RT inhibitors (NNRTIs). However, because a minor sub-population of the RT-SHIV re-isolates contained a mutation conferring low-level resistance to ddI and ddC, the RT-SHIV/macaque model may underestimate the efficacy of these drugs. Nevertheless, this report further supports the suitability, reliability, and usefulness of the RT-SHIV/macaque model to investigate the antiviral properties of most RT inhibitors in an in vivo setting.




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