The macaque monkey infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) is an animal model of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. We investigated a laboratory worker who was exposed by needlestick accident to blood from an SIV-infected macaque. Seroreactivity to SIV developed within 3 months of exposure, with antibody titres peaking from the third to the fifth month and declining thereafter. Polymerase chain reaction for SIV sequences and cultures of peripheral-blood mononuclear cells failed to show infection. Inoculation of an SIV-negative monkey with blood from the worker did not cause infection. Animal-care and laboratory workers should adhere strictly to recommended procedures to avoid accidental exposures when working with SIV-infected animals or specimens.
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