Primary stage of feline immunodeficiency virus infection: Viral dissemination and cellular targets

A. M. Beebe, N. Dua, T. G. Faith, Peter F Moore, Niels C Pedersen, Satya Dandekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

122 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this study was to identify cellular and organ targets of acute feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection in vivo. Tissues of FIV- infected cats were studied at eight time points during the first 3 months after experimental infection. FIV nucleic acids were first detected by in situ hybridization 21 days after infection, approximately 1.5 weeks after lymph node enlargement was first observed and 3 weeks before the primary acute flu-like illness. The majority of FIV-infected cells were present in lymphoid organs, though low numbers of infected cells were noted in nonlymphoid organs as well. Germinal centers harbored many of the FIV- infected cells within lymphoid tissues. The thymic cortex was also a major site of early infection. Combined in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry revealed that T lymphocytes were the primary target of early FIV infection in tissues of cats before the onset of clinical signs of acute illness. An unidentified population of mononuclear cells and a few macrophages were also infected. During the ensuing acute flu-like illness, the proportion of FIV-infected macrophages in tissues increased dramatically. This early shift in the predominant cellular localization of FIV from T lymphocytes to macrophages may be important for establishing viral persistence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3080-3091
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume68
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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