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1.  Titration of an SIVmac251 Stock by Vaginal Inoculation of Indian and Chinese Origin Rhesus Macaques: Transmission Efficiency, Viral Loads, and Antibody Responses 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2001;17(15):1455-1466.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether rhesus monkeys of Chinese origin are suitable for studies of mucosal lentivirus transmission by comparing the relative ability of these animals and rhesus macaques of Indian origin to become infected by vaginal (IVAG) inoculation with SIVmac251. In addition, we sought to test the hypothesis that differences in viral load during the first few weeks after inoculation were due to the relative strength of the anti-SIV immune responses in the two populations of rhesus macaques. Significant difference was not observed between the number of Indian and Chinese origin monkeys that were infected after IVAG SIV inoculation in this study. For 8–9 weeks after infection there was considerable overlap in the range of viral loads among the Indian and Chinese animals and the variation among the Indian origin animals was greater than the variation among the Chinese origin monkeys. By 6 weeks postinfection, viral loads in SIV-infected Chinese origin monkeys tended to be at the lower end of the range of viral loads observed in SIV-infected Indian origin monkeys. The strength of the anti-SIV antibody response was also more variable in the Indian origin rhesus macaques, but at 6–8 weeks postinfection, Chinese and Indian origin rhesus macaques had similar titers of anti-SIV antibodies. Microsatellite allele frequencies differed between Chinese and Indian rhesus macaques; however, the majority of alleles present in Indian-origin animals were also found in Chinese macaques. Together these results show that host factors, other than geographic origin, determine the ability of a rhesus macaque to be infected after IVAG SIV exposure and that geographic origin does not predict the viral load of SIV-infected animals during the first 8–9 weeks after IVAG inoculation.
PMCID: PMC3401017  PMID: 11679158
2.  Identification and Comparison of Eleven Rhesus Macaque Chemokine Receptors 
Both simian and human immunodeficiency viruses (SIV and HIV) utilize chemokine receptors, with or with-out CD4, as portals for entry into susceptible cells. In this report, we present the cloning and comparison of 11 rhesus macaque chemokine receptors and receptor-like proteins (CCR1, CCR2b, CCR3, CCR5, CCR8, CXCR4, STRL33, GPR1, GPR15, APJ, and CRAM-A/B), the human counterparts of which have been previously shown to be utilized by SIV for entry.
PMCID: PMC2754205  PMID: 11461684
3.  Virologic and Immunologic Determinants of Heterosexual Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 in Africa 
More than 80% of the world’s HIV-infected adults live in sub-Saharan Africa, where heterosexual transmission is the predominant mode of spread. The virologic and immunologic correlates of female-to-male (FTM) and male-to-female (MTF) transmission are not well understood. A total of 1022 heterosexual couples with discordant HIV-1 serology results (one partner HIV infected, the other HIV uninfected) were enrolled in a prospective study in Lusaka, Zambia and monitored at 3-month intervals. A nested case-control design was used to compare 109 transmitters and 208 nontransmitting controls with respect to plasma HIV-1 RNA (viral load, VL), virus isolation, and CD4+ cell levels. Median plasma VL was significantly higher in transmitters than nontransmitters (123,507 vs. 51,310 copies/ml, p < 0.001). In stratified multivariate Cox regression analyses, the risk ratio (RR) for FTM transmission was 7.6 (95% CI: 2.3, 25.5) for VL ≥ 100,000 copies/ ml and 4.1 (95% CI: 1.2, 14.1) for VL between 10,000 and 100,000 copies/ml compared with the reference group of <10,000 copies/ml. Corresponding RRs for MTF transmission were 2.1 and 1.2, respectively, with 95% CI both bounding 1. Only 3 of 41 (7%) female transmitters had VL < 10,000 copies/ml compared with 32 of 93 (34%) of female nontransmitters (p < 0.001). The transmission rate within couples was 7.7/100 person-years and did not differ from FTM (61/862 person-years) and MTF (81/978 person-years) transmission. We conclude that the association between increasing plasma viral load was strong for female to male transmission, but was only weakly predictive of male to female transmission in Zambian heterosexual couples. FTM and MTF transmission rates were similar. These data suggest gender-specific differences in the biology of heterosexual transmission.
PMCID: PMC2748905  PMID: 11461676
4.  Enhanced Avidity Maturation of Antibody to Human Immunodeficiency Virus Envelope: DNA Vaccination with gp120-C3d Fusion Proteins 
DNA vaccination can elicit both humoral and cellular immune responses and can confer protection against several pathogens. However, DNA vaccines expressing the envelope (Env) protein of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have been relatively ineffective at generating high titer, long-lasting, neutralizing antibodies in a variety of animal models. In this study, we report that fusion of Env and the complement component, C3d, in a DNA vaccine, enhances the titers of antibody to Env. Plasmids were generated that expressed a secreted form of Env (sgp120) from three isolates of HIV and these same forms fused to three tandem copies of the murine homologue of C3d (sgp120-3C3d). Analyses of titers and avidity maturation of the raised antibody indicated that immunizations with each of the sgp120-3C3d-expressing DNAs accelerated both the onset and the avidity maturation of antibody to Env.
PMCID: PMC1783761  PMID: 11429124

Results 1-4 (4)