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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 and Robert C. Gallo
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 104, No. 12 (Mar. 20, 2007), pp. 5067-5072
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25427145
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Human Herpesvirus 6A Accelerates AIDS Progression in Macaques
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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.

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