Generation of a replication-competent chimeric simian-human immunodeficiency virus carrying env from subtype C clinical isolate through intracellular homologous recombination.
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A new simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV), carrying env from an uncloned HIV-1 subtype C clinical isolate (97ZA012), was generated through intracellular homologous recombination, a DNA repair mechanism of the host cell. PCR fragments amplified from an existing SHIV plasmid (a 7-kb fragment from the 5' end and a 1.5-kb fragment from the 3' end) and a 4-kb fragment amplified from 97ZA012 cDNA containing env were co-transfected to human lymphoid cells. The resulting recombinant was subjected to serial passage in rhesus peripheral blood mononuclear cells (RhPBMCs). The resulting SHIV 97ZA012 was replication competent in RhPBMCs and monkey alveolar macrophages, and possessed CCR5 preference as an entry co-receptor. Experimental infection of rhesus macaques with SHIV 97ZA012 caused high titers of plasma viremia and a transient but profound depletion of CD4(+) T lymphocytes in the lung. Animal-to-animal passage was shown to be a promising measure for further adaptation of the virus in monkeys.
Virology 436(1), 100-111, 2013-02-05