ResearchPad - rhesus-monkeys https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Maximizing viral detection with SIV droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assays]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14590 Highly sensitive detection of HIV-1 nucleic acids is of critical importance for evaluating treatment interventions superimposed on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in HIV-1 infected individuals. SIV infection of rhesus macaques models many key aspects of human HIV-1 infection and plays a key role in evaluation of approaches for prevention, treatment and attempted eradication of HIV infection. Here we describe two droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assays, a ddPCR DNA assay and an RT-ddPCR RNA assay for detecting simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) on the RainDance platform. We demonstrate that RainDance ddPCR can tolerate significantly higher cell DNA input without inhibition on a per reaction basis (compared to both qPCR and Bio-Rad ddPCR), thus allowing a large quantity of sample to be analyzed in each reaction. In addition, the combination of a high processivity RT enzyme and RainDance ddPCR could overcome inhibition in severely inhibited (99.99% inhibition in qPCR quantification) viral RNA samples. These assays offer valuable tools for assessing low level viral production/replication and strategies for targeting residual virus in the setting of cART suppression of viral replication. The methodologies presented here can be adapted for a broad range of applications where highly sensitive nucleic acid detection is required.

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<![CDATA[Monotherapy with a low-dose lipopeptide HIV fusion inhibitor maintains long-term viral suppression in rhesus macaques]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e93ed5eed0c48496fa7b

Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) dramatically improves survival of HIV-infected patients, but lifelong treatment can ultimately result in cumulative toxicities and drug resistance, thus necessitating the development of new drugs with significantly improved pharmaceutical profiles. We recently found that the fusion inhibitor T-20 (enfuvirtide)-based lipopeptides possess dramatically increased anti-HIV activity. Herein, a group of novel lipopeptides were designed with different lengths of fatty acids, identifying a stearic acid-modified lipopeptide (LP-80) with the most potent anti-HIV activity. It inhibited a large panel of divergent HIV subtypes with a mean IC50 in the extremely low picomolar range, being > 5,300-fold more active than T-20 and the neutralizing antibody VRC01. It also sustained the potent activity against T-20-resistant mutants and exhibited very high therapeutic selectivity index. Pharmacokinetics of LP-80 in rats and monkeys verified its potent and long-acting anti-HIV activity. In the monkey, subcutaneous administration of 3 mg/kg LP-80 yielded serum concentrations of 1,147 ng/ml after injection 72 h and 9 ng/ml after injection 168 h (7 days), equivalent to 42,062- and 330-fold higher than the measured IC50 value. In SHIV infected rhesus macaques, a single low-dose LP-80 (3 mg/kg) sharply reduced viral loads to below the limitation of detection, and twice-weekly monotherapy could maintain long-term viral suppression.

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<![CDATA[Vectored delivery of anti-SIV envelope targeting mAb via AAV8 protects rhesus macaques from repeated limiting dose intrarectal swarm SIVsmE660 challenge]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b9ed5eed0c484699e2f

Gene based delivery of immunoglobulins promises to safely and durably provide protective immunity to individuals at risk of acquiring infectious diseases such as HIV. We used a rhesus macaque animal model to optimize delivery of naturally-arising, autologous anti-SIV neutralizing antibodies expressed by Adeno-Associated Virus 8 (AAV8) vectors. Vectored transgene expression was confirmed by quantitation of target antibody abundance in serum and mucosal surfaces. We tested the expression achieved at varying doses and numbers of injections. Expression of the transgene reached a saturation at about 2 x 1012 AAV8 genome copies (gc) per needle-injection, a physical limitation that may not scale clinically into human trials. In contrast, expression increased proportionately with the number of injections. In terms of anti-drug immunity, anti-vector antibody responses were universally strong, while those directed against the natural transgene mAb were detected in only 20% of animals. An anti-transgene antibody response was invariably associated with loss of detectable plasma expression of the antibody. Despite having atypical glycosylation profiles, transgenes derived from AAV-directed muscle cell expression retained full functional activity, including mucosal accumulation, in vitro neutralization, and protection against repeated limiting dose SIVsmE660 swarm challenge. Our findings demonstrate feasibility of a gene therapy-based passive immunization strategy against infectious disease, and illustrate the potential for the nonhuman primate model to inform clinical AAV-based approaches to passive immunization.

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<![CDATA[Gammaherpesvirus infection and malignant disease in rhesus macaques experimentally infected with SIV or SHIV]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b5ff792463d7e28ade495c5

Human gammaherpesviruses are associated with malignancies in HIV infected individuals; in macaques used in non-human primate models of HIV infection, gammaherpesvirus infections also occur. Limited data on prevalence and tumorigenicity of macaque gammaherpesviruses, mostly cross-sectional analyses of small series, are available. We comprehensively examine all three-rhesus macaque gammaherpesviruses -Rhesus rhadinovirus (RRV), Rhesus Lymphocryptovirus (RLCV) and Retroperitoneal Fibromatosis Herpesvirus (RFHV) in macaques experimentally infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus or Simian Human Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV/SHIV) in studies spanning 15 years at the AIDS and Cancer Virus Program of the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. We evaluated 18 animals with malignancies (16 lymphomas, one fibrosarcoma and one carcinoma) and 32 controls. We developed real time quantitative PCR assays for each gammaherpesvirus DNA viral load (VL) in malignant and non-tumor tissues; we also characterized the tumors using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Furthermore, we retrospectively quantified gammaherpesvirus DNA VL and SIV/SHIV RNA VL in longitudinally-collected PBMCs and plasma, respectively. One or more gammaherpesviruses were detected in 17 tumors; generally, one was predominant, and the relevant DNA VL in the tumor was very high compared to surrounding tissues. RLCV was predominant in tumors resembling diffuse large B cell lymphomas; in a Burkitt-like lymphoma, RRV was predominant; and in the fibrosarcoma, RFHV was predominant. Median RRV and RLCV PBMC DNA VL were significantly higher in cases than controls; SIV/SHIV VL and RLCV VL were independently associated with cancer. Local regressions showed that longitudinal VL patterns in cases and controls, from SIV infection to necropsy, differed for each gammaherpesvirus: while RFHV VL increased only slightly in all animals, RLCV and RRV VL increased significantly and continued to increase steeply in cases; in controls, VL flattened. In conclusion, the data suggest that gammaherpesviruses may play a significant role in tumorogenesis in macaques infected with immunodeficiency viruses.

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<![CDATA[Tracking KLRC2 (NKG2C)+ memory-like NK cells in SIV+ and rhCMV+ rhesus macaques]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28b394463d7e126303d2a9

Natural killer (NK) cells classically typify the nonspecific effector arm of the innate immune system, but have recently been shown to possess memory-like properties against multiple viral infections, most notably CMV. Expression of the activating receptor NKG2C is elevated on human NK cells in response to infection with CMV as well as HIV, and may delineate cells with memory and memory-like functions. A better understanding of how NKG2C+ NK cells specifically respond to these pathogens could be significantly advanced using nonhuman primate (NHP) models but, to date, it has not been possible to distinguish NKG2C from its inhibitory counterpart, NKG2A, in NHP because of unfaithful antibody cross-reactivity. Using novel RNA-based flow cytometry, we identify for the first time true memory NKG2C+ NK cells in NHP by gene expression (KLRC2), and show that these cells have elevated frequencies and diversify their functional repertoire specifically in response to rhCMV and SIV infections.

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<![CDATA[Early Predictors of Impaired Social Functioning in Male Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab9ab0ee8fa60bae07e

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by social cognition impairments but its basic disease mechanisms remain poorly understood. Progress has been impeded by the absence of animal models that manifest behavioral phenotypes relevant to ASD. Rhesus monkeys are an ideal model organism to address this barrier to progress. Like humans, rhesus monkeys are highly social, possess complex social cognition abilities, and exhibit pronounced individual differences in social functioning. Moreover, we have previously shown that Low-Social (LS) vs. High-Social (HS) adult male monkeys exhibit lower social motivation and poorer social skills. It is not known, however, when these social deficits first emerge. The goals of this study were to test whether juvenile LS and HS monkeys differed as infants in their ability to process social information, and whether infant social abilities predicted later social classification (i.e., LS vs. HS), in order to facilitate earlier identification of monkeys at risk for poor social outcomes. Social classification was determined for N = 25 LS and N = 25 HS male monkeys that were 1–4 years of age. As part of a colony-wide assessment, these monkeys had previously undergone, as infants, tests of face recognition memory and the ability to respond appropriately to conspecific social signals. Monkeys later identified as LS vs. HS showed impairments in recognizing familiar vs. novel faces and in the species-typical adaptive ability to gaze avert to scenes of conspecific aggression. Additionally, multivariate logistic regression using infant social ability measures perfectly predicted later social classification of all N = 50 monkeys. These findings suggest that an early capacity to process important social information may account for differences in rhesus monkeys’ motivation and competence to establish and maintain social relationships later in life. Further development of this model will facilitate identification of novel biological targets for intervention to improve social outcomes in at-risk young monkeys.

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<![CDATA[Principles of Network Architecture Emerging from Comparisons of the Cerebral Cortex in Large and Small Brains]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da94ab0ee8fa60ba1448

The cerebral cortex retains its fundamental organization, layering, and input–output relations as it scales in volume over many orders of magnitude in mammals. How is its network architecture affected by size scaling? By comparing network organization of the mouse and rhesus macaque cortical connectome derived from complete neuroanatomical tracing studies, a recent study in PLOS Biology shows that an exponential distance rule emerges that reveals the falloff in connection probability with distance in the two brains that in turn determines common organizational features.

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<![CDATA[The Fatty Acid Synthase Inhibitor Platensimycin Improves Insulin Resistance without Inducing Liver Steatosis in Mice and Monkeys]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf0ab0ee8fa60bc116e

Objectives

Platensimycin (PTM) is a natural antibiotic produced by Streptomyces platensis that selectively inhibits bacterial and mammalian fatty acid synthase (FAS) without affecting synthesis of other lipids. Recently, we reported that oral administration of PTM in mouse models (db/db and db/+) with high de novo lipogenesis (DNL) tone inhibited DNL and enhanced glucose oxidation, which in turn led to net reduction of liver triglycerides (TG), reduced ambient glucose, and improved insulin sensitivity. The present study was conducted to explore translatability and the therapeutic potential of FAS inhibition for the treatment of diabetes in humans.

Methods

We tested PTM in animal models with different DNL tones, i.e. intrinsic synthesis rates, which vary among species and are regulated by nutritional and disease states, and confirmed glucose-lowering efficacy of PTM in lean NHPs with quantitation of liver lipid by MRS imaging. To understand the direct effect of PTM on liver metabolism, we performed ex vivo liver perfusion study to compare FAS inhibitor and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1) inhibitor.

Results

The efficacy of PTM is generally reproduced in preclinical models with DNL tones comparable to humans, including lean and established diet-induced obese (eDIO) mice as well as non-human primates (NHPs). Similar effects of PTM on DNL reduction were observed in lean and type 2 diabetic rhesus and lean cynomolgus monkeys after acute and chronic treatment of PTM. Mechanistically, PTM lowers plasma glucose in part by enhancing hepatic glucose uptake and glycolysis. Teglicar, a CPT1 inhibitor, has similar effects on glucose uptake and glycolysis. In sharp contrast, Teglicar but not PTM significantly increased hepatic TG production, thus caused liver steatosis in eDIO mice.

Conclusions

These findings demonstrate unique properties of PTM and provide proof-of-concept of FAS inhibition having potential utility for the treatment of diabetes and related metabolic disorders.

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<![CDATA[Comparative pathology of rhesus macaque and common marmoset animal models with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbb7a

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which is caused by a newly discovered coronavirus (CoV), has recently emerged. It causes severe viral pneumonia and is associated with a high fatality rate. However, the pathogenesis, comparative pathology and inflammatory cell response of rhesus macaques and common marmosets experimentally infected with MERS-CoV are unknown. We describe the histopathological, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural findings from rhesus macaque and common marmoset animal models of MERS-CoV infection. The main histopathological findings in the lungs of rhesus macaques and common marmosets were varying degrees of pulmonary lesions, including pneumonia, pulmonary oedema, haemorrhage, degeneration and necrosis of the pneumocytes and bronchial epithelial cells, and inflammatory cell infiltration. The characteristic inflammatory cells in the lungs of rhesus macaques and common marmosets were eosinophils and neutrophils, respectively. Based on these observations, the lungs of rhesus macaques and common marmosets appeared to develop chronic and acute pneumonia, respectively. MERS-CoV antigens and viral RNA were identified in type I and II pneumocytes, alveolar macrophages and bronchial epithelial cells, and ultrastructural observations showed that viral protein was found in type II pneumocytes and inflammatory cells in both species. Correspondingly, the entry receptor DDP4 was found in type I and II pneumocytes, bronchial epithelial cells, and alveolar macrophages. The rhesus macaque and common marmoset animal models of MERS-CoV can be used as a tool to mimic the oncome of MERS-CoV infections in humans. These models can help to provide a better understanding of the pathogenic process of this virus and to develop effective medications and prophylactic treatments.

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<![CDATA[Follicular Regulatory CD8 T Cells Impair the Germinal Center Response in SIV and Ex Vivo HIV Infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daabab0ee8fa60ba93fb

During chronic HIV infection, viral replication is concentrated in secondary lymphoid follicles. Cytotoxic CD8 T cells control HIV replication in extrafollicular regions, but not in the follicle. Here, we show CXCR5hiCD44hiCD8 T cells are a regulatory subset differing from conventional CD8 T cells, and constitute the majority of CD8 T cells in the follicle. This subset, CD8 follicular regulatory T cells (CD8 TFR), expand in chronic SIV infection, exhibit enhanced expression of Tim-3 and IL-10, and express less perforin compared to conventional CD8 T cells. CD8 TFR modestly limit HIV replication in follicular helper T cells (TFH), impair TFH IL-21 production via Tim-3, and inhibit IgG production by B cells during ex vivo HIV infection. CD8 TFR induce TFH apoptosis through HLA-E, but induce less apoptosis than conventional CD8 T cells. These data demonstrate that a unique regulatory CD8 population exists in follicles that impairs GC function in HIV infection.

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<![CDATA[Increases in Endogenous or Exogenous Progestins Promote Virus-Target Cell Interactions within the Non-human Primate Female Reproductive Tract]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da57ab0ee8fa60b8f0d4

Currently, there are mounting data suggesting that HIV-1 acquisition in women can be affected by the use of certain hormonal contraceptives. However, in non-human primate models, endogenous or exogenous progestin-dominant states are shown to increase acquisition. To gain mechanistic insights into this increased acquisition, we studied how mucosal barrier function and CD4+ T-cell and CD68+ macrophage density and localization changed in the presence of natural progestins or after injection with high-dose DMPA. The presence of natural or injected progestins increased virus penetration of the columnar epithelium and the infiltration of susceptible cells into a thinned squamous epithelium of the vaginal vault, increasing the likelihood of potential virus interactions with target cells. These data suggest that increasing either endogenous or exogenous progestin can alter female reproductive tract barrier properties and provide plausible mechanisms for increased HIV-1 acquisition risk in the presence of increased progestin levels.

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<![CDATA[Protection against SHIV Challenge by Subcutaneous Administration of the Plant-Derived PGT121 Broadly Neutralizing Antibody in Macaques]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9eab0ee8fa60ba4cfb

Intravascular delivery of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) has shown promise for prevention and treatment of HIV infection. However, multiple IV administrations in geographic locations with poor accessibility to medical care have practical limitations. We have assessed the efficacy of plant-derived PGT121 delivered subcutaneously (SC) against pre-and post-intravaginal challenge using a rigorous SHIV-SF162P3 macaque protection model. SC administered PGT121 exhibited a longer serum half-life than IV administration and was more consistent than intramuscular delivery. A dose of 3.5mg/kg PGT121 prevented infection at a minimum ID50 neutralization titer of 1:295 while 5mg/kg protected five of six macaques when delivered immediately post-challenge. These results suggest the utility of plant-derived bnAbs delivered SC for HIV prevention.

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<![CDATA[A comprehensive profiling of T- and B-lymphocyte receptor repertoires from a Chinese-origin rhesus macaque by high-throughput sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5aafcdb0463d7e7f05234554

Due to the close genetic background, high similarity of physiology, and susceptibility to infectious and metabolic diseases with humans, rhesus macaques have been widely used as an important animal model in biomedical research, especially in the study of vaccine development and human immune-related diseases. In recent years, high-throughput sequencing based immune repertoire sequencing (IR-SEQ) has become a powerful tool to study the dynamic adaptive immune responses. Several previous studies had analyzed the responses of B cells to HIV-1 trimer vaccine or T cell repertoire of rhesus macaques using this technique, however, there are little studies that had performed a comprehensive analysis of immune repertoire of rhesus macaques, including T and B lymphocytes. Here, we did a comprehensive analysis of the T and B cells receptor repertoires of a Chinese rhesus macaque based on the 5’—RACE and IR-SEQ. The detailed analysis includes the distribution of CDR3 length, the composition of amino acids and nucleotides of CDR3, V, J and V-J combination usage, the insertion and deletion length distribution and somatic hypermutation rates of the framework region 3 (FR3). In addition, we found that several positions of FR3 region have high mutation frequencies, which may indicate the existence of new genes/alleles that have not been discovered and/or collected into IMGT reference database. We believe that a comprehensive profiling of immune repertoire of rhesus macaque will facilitate the human immune-related diseases studies.

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<![CDATA[Vocalizations during post-conflict affiliations from victims toward aggressors based on uncertainty in Japanese macaques]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be00ba

We investigated the use of vocalizations called “grunts,” “girneys,” and “coos” accompanied by post-conflict affiliative interaction between former opponents (reconciliation) in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata). Although reconciliation functions to repair bonds, such interactions sometimes entail risks of receiving further aggression. Vocalizations can be used at a distance from the former opponent; thus, we predict that vocalizations are used particularly by victims of a conflict, and are frequently used in situations of uncertainty when it is difficult for them to estimate whether the former opponent will resume aggression. In addition, we predict that vocalizations are effective in preventing further aggression. To test these hypotheses, we conducted observations of post-conflict and matched-control situations in female Japanese macaques living in a free-ranging group. We found that former opponents tended to be attracted to each other within the first minute following a conflict, thus demonstrating reconciliation behavior. Vocalizations were more frequently used by the victims in post-conflict interactions than under control situations; however, this tendency was not found in aggressors. When affiliation with the former opponent occurred, victims were more likely to use vocalizations towards less familiar opponents. These findings suggest that Japanese macaques used vocalizations more often when interacting with less predictable former opponents. Victims were more likely to receive aggression from former aggressors when engaged in affiliations with them than under no such affiliations. No significant differences were found in the probability of the victims receiving aggression, regardless of whether they used vocalizations; thus, whether the victim benefits from using vocalizations in these contexts remains unclear. Japanese macaques form despotic societies and therefore, further aggression was inevitable, to some degree, after a conflict. The use of vocalizations by a victim was found to depend on the nature of their relationship with the aggressor; however, the effectiveness of this behavior requires further investigation.

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<![CDATA[Targeted Isolation of Antibodies Directed against Major Sites of SIV Env Vulnerability]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8eab0ee8fa60b9f394

The simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) challenge model of lentiviral infection is often used as a model to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) for studying vaccine mediated and immune correlates of protection. However, knowledge of the structure of the SIV envelope (Env) glycoprotein is limited, as is knowledge of binding specificity, function and potential efficacy of SIV antibody responses. In this study we describe the use of a competitive probe binding sort strategy as well as scaffolded probes for targeted isolation of SIV Env-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). We isolated nearly 70 SIV-specific mAbs directed against major sites of SIV Env vulnerability analogous to broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb) targets of HIV-1, namely, the CD4 binding site (CD4bs), CD4-induced (CD4i)-site, peptide epitopes in variable loops 1, 2 and 3 (V1, V2, V3) and potentially glycan targets of SIV Env. The range of SIV mAbs isolated includes those exhibiting varying degrees of neutralization breadth and potency as well as others that demonstrated binding but not neutralization. Several SIV mAbs displayed broad and potent neutralization of a diverse panel of 20 SIV viral isolates with some also neutralizing HIV-27312A. This extensive panel of SIV mAbs will facilitate more effective use of the SIV non-human primate (NHP) model for understanding the variables in development of a HIV vaccine or immunotherapy.

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<![CDATA[Mothers Make a Difference: Mothers Develop Weaker Bonds with Immature Sons than Daughters]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac6ab0ee8fa60bb2901

Among mammals, individuals form strong social bonds preferentially with their kin. Differences in these relationships are linked to differential kin availability due to sex-specific dispersal patterns, but there is some indication that differential bonding among sexes already occurs prior to maturation. However, little is known about how these patterns arise during individual development. Here we investigated sex differences in the development of mother-offspring bonds in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Our results revealed that mothers showed sex-biased bonding toward their offspring. Sons had a distinctly higher probability of receiving aggression from their mothers than did daughters in the first year of life, while no differences were found with respect to affiliative interactions. After the first year, probabilities of all affiliative and aggressive behaviours investigated were higher for daughters than for sons, although generally declining. Furthermore, sons spending less time with their mother and receiving more maternal aggression tended to disperse earlier. The results of our study suggest that mothers influence their bonding strength with offspring by interacting less affiliative with sons than daughters.

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<![CDATA[Genetically-barcoded SIV facilitates enumeration of rebound variants and estimation of reactivation rates in nonhuman primates following interruption of suppressive antiretroviral therapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be021f

HIV and SIV infection dynamics are commonly investigated by measuring plasma viral loads. However, this total viral load value represents the sum of many individual infection events, which are difficult to independently track using conventional sequencing approaches. To overcome this challenge, we generated a genetically tagged virus stock (SIVmac239M) with a 34-base genetic barcode inserted between the vpx and vpr accessory genes of the infectious molecular clone SIVmac239. Next-generation sequencing of the virus stock identified at least 9,336 individual barcodes, or clonotypes, with an average genetic distance of 7 bases between any two barcodes. In vitro infection of rhesus CD4+ T cells and in vivo infection of rhesus macaques revealed levels of viral replication of SIVmac239M comparable to parental SIVmac239. After intravenous inoculation of 2.2x105 infectious units of SIVmac239M, an average of 1,247 barcodes were identified during acute infection in 26 infected rhesus macaques. Of the barcodes identified in the stock, at least 85.6% actively replicated in at least one animal, and on average each barcode was found in 5 monkeys. Four infected animals were treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) for 82 days starting on day 6 post-infection (study 1). Plasma viremia was reduced from >106 to <15 vRNA copies/mL by the time treatment was interrupted. Virus rapidly rebounded following treatment interruption and between 87 and 136 distinct clonotypes were detected in plasma at peak rebound viremia. This study confirmed that SIVmac239M viremia could be successfully curtailed with cART, and that upon cART discontinuation, rebounding viral variants could be identified and quantified. An additional 6 animals infected with SIVmac239M were treated with cART beginning on day 4 post-infection for 305, 374, or 482 days (study 2). Upon treatment interruption, between 4 and 8 distinct viral clonotypes were detected in each animal at peak rebound viremia. The relative proportions of the rebounding viral clonotypes, spanning a range of 5 logs, were largely preserved over time for each animal. The viral growth rate during recrudescence and the relative abundance of each rebounding clonotype were used to estimate the average frequency of reactivation per animal. Using these parameters, reactivation frequencies were calculated and ranged from 0.33–0.70 events per day, likely representing reactivation from long-lived latently infected cells. The use of SIVmac239M therefore provides a powerful tool to investigate SIV latency and the frequency of viral reactivation after treatment interruption.

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<![CDATA[Testing the arousal hypothesis of neonatal imitation in infant rhesus macaques]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5fab0ee8fa60be10c0

Neonatal imitation is the matching of (often facial) gestures by newborn infants. Some studies suggest that performance of facial gestures is due to general arousal, which may produce false positives on neonatal imitation assessments. Here we examine whether arousal is linked to facial gesturing in newborn infant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). We tested 163 infants in a neonatal imitation paradigm in their first postnatal week and analyzed their lipsmacking gestures (a rapid opening and closing of the mouth), tongue protrusion gestures, and yawn responses (a measure of arousal). Arousal increased during dynamic stimulus presentation compared to the static baseline across all conditions, and arousal was higher in the facial gestures conditions than the nonsocial control condition. However, even after controlling for arousal, we found a condition-specific increase in facial gestures in infants who matched lipsmacking and tongue protrusion gestures. Thus, we found no support for the arousal hypothesis. Consistent with reports in human newborns, imitators’ propensity to match facial gestures is based on abilities that go beyond mere arousal. We discuss optimal testing conditions to minimize potentially confounding effects of arousal on measurements of neonatal imitation.

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<![CDATA[Multilocus genotyping of Enterocytozoon bieneusi derived from nonhuman primates in southwest China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf797

Enterocytozoon bieneusi has been increasingly reported in non-human primates (NHPs) in recent years, and this has garnered attention. However, reports of E. bieneusi infections in NHPs are limited worldwide. To appreciate the genetic diversity and assess the zoonotic potential during the transmission of human microsporidiosis, we examined a total of 369 fecal samples from NHPs and performed PCR amplification of the ITS gene of E. bieneusi. An infection rate of 12.5% (46/369) was detected in NHPs, with three known genotypes (D, PigEBITS7, and SC02) and a novel genotype (SCM01) characterized. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that all four genotypes in our study were classified as zoonotic group 1. Multilocus genotyping of positive E. bieneusi strains revealed that 36, 37, 30, and 29 specimens were successfully amplified and sequenced to generate 16, six, four, and five types of MS1, MS3, MS4, and MS7 loci, respectively. Twenty-four specimens were successfully amplified and sequenced at all four loci, forming 13 multilocus genotypes (MLGs). The occurrence of zoonotic genotypes suggests that zoonotic transmission of E. bieneusi between humans and NHPs has probably occurred and NHPs could be a source of human microspordiosis.

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<![CDATA[Zika Virus Tissue and Blood Compartmentalization in Acute Infection of Rhesus Macaques]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcb83

Animal models of Zika virus (ZIKV) are needed to better understand tropism and pathogenesis and to test candidate vaccines and therapies to curtail the pandemic. Humans and rhesus macaques possess similar fetal development and placental biology that is not shared between humans and rodents. We inoculated 2 non-pregnant rhesus macaques with a 2015 Brazilian ZIKV strain. Consistent with most human infections, the animals experienced no clinical disease but developed short-lived plasma viremias that cleared as neutralizing antibody developed. In 1 animal, viral RNA (vRNA) could be detected longer in whole blood than in plasma. Despite no major histopathologic changes, many adult tissues contained vRNA 14 days post-infection with highest levels in hemolymphatic tissues. These observations warrant further studies to investigate ZIKV persistence and its potential clinical implications for transmission via blood products or tissue and organ transplants.

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