Most simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2), and HIV-1 infection of host peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) is CD4 dependent. In some cases, X4 HIV-1 chemotaxis is CD4 independent, and cross-species transmission might be facilitated by CD4- independent entry, which has been demonstrated for some SIV strains in CD4- non-T cells. As expected for CCR5-dependent virus, SIV required CD4 on rhesus and pigtail macaque PBMCs for infection and chemotaxis. However, SIV induced the chemotaxis of human PBMCs in a CD4-independent manner. Furthermore, in contrast to the results of studies using transfected human cell lines, SIV did not require CD4 binding to productively infect primary human PBMCs. CD4- independent lymphocyte and macrophage infection may facilitate cross-species transmission, while reacquisition of CD4 dependence may confer a selective advantage for the virus within new host species.
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