Human herpesvirus 6A accelerates AIDS progression in macaques

Paolo Lusso, Richard W. Crowley, Mauro S. Malnati, Clelia Di Serio, Maurilio Ponzoni, Angelique Biancotto, Phillip D. Markham, Robert C. Gallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although HIV is the necessary and sufficient causative agent of AIDS, genetic and environmental factors markedly influence the pace of disease progression. Clinical and experimental evidence suggests that human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A), a cytopathic T-lymphotropic DNA virus, fosters the progression to AIDS in synergy with HIV-1. In this study, we investigated the effect of coinfection with HHV-6A on the progression of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) disease in pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina). Inoculation of HHV-6A resulted in a rapid appearance of plasma viremia associated with transient clinical manifestations and followed by antibody seroconversion, indicating that this primate species is susceptible to HHV-6A infection. Whereas animals infected with HHV-6A alone did not show any long-term clinical and immunological sequelae, a progressive loss of CD4+ T cells was observed in all of the macaques inoculated with SIV. However, progression to full-blown AIDS was dramatically accelerated by coinfection with HHV-6A. Rapid disease development in dually infected animals was heralded by an early depletion of both CD4 + and CD8+ T cells. These results provide in vivo evidence that HHV-6A may act as a promoting factor in AIDS progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5067-5072
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume104
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 20 2007

Keywords

  • Animal models
  • Herpesviruses
  • Simian immunodeficiency virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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