Pegylated interferon-α2a treatment of chronic SIV-infected macaques

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16 Scopus citations


Background: In vitro and clinical observations in HIV-infected patients receiving interferon α therapy have shown a reduction in HIV loads. Limited investigations have explored the innate or adaptive immune responses of IFN- α on SIV replication in vivo. Methods: Seven chronically infected rhesus macaques were given pegylated IFN-α 2a (n = four) or saline (n = three) injections once weekly for 14 weeks. Weekly peripheral blood samples were taken for safety parameters, viral load determinations, and measurements of innate and adaptive immune responses. Results: Pharmacokinetic measurements demonstrated therapeutic peg-IFN-α levels for the initial period of therapy and IFN-α inducible antiviral molecules were increased sporadically in the PBMC mRNA of the treatment group. Despite the demonstrable effect of the IFN-α injections, the treatment had no effect on plasma viral RNA levels. Conclusions: This work demonstrates that while short term IFN-α therapy induces innate antiviral immunity, it does not dramatically enhance or suppress viral replication. However, studies in the SIV model to determine therapeutic potential of chronic IFN-α therapy for the treatment of HIV will require macaque specific cytokines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-30
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Primatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Innate immune responses
  • Interferon inducible molecules
  • Macaque
  • Pegylated interferon-α2a
  • Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)
  • TypeI interferons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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