Intravaginal inoculation with T cell-tropic molecular clones of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) or simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) or some dual-tropic strains of SIV or SHIV produced systemic infection in rhesus macaques. Vaginal inoculation with other dual-tropic molecular clones of SIV or SHIV did not infect rhesus macaques even after multiple inoculations. While in vitro measures of macrophage tropism do not predict which primate lentiviruses will produce systemic infection after intravaginal inoculation, the level to which a virus replicates in vivo after intravenous inoculation does predict the outcome of intravaginal inoculation. Another series of studies, using combined in situ hybridization and immunolabeling to simultaneously detect SIV RNA and identify the immunophenotype of infected cells, demonstrated that a large proportion (~40% in some animals) of the SIV-infected cells in the vagina and cervix were Langerhans' cells. This is the first in vivo demonstration that Langerhans' cells in the genital tract are infected with SIV and that dendritic cells are significant reservoirs for lentiviruses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health