In the course of human immunodeficiency virus infection or of the related simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), progression to AIDS is associated with high virus burdens in blood. How virus burden in the bloodstream is related to virus burden in tissue reservoirs was addressed in an animal model of rhesus macaques infected with SIV. In situ hybridization and quantitative image analysis were used to quantitate virus burden. Animals who developed AIDS had high levels of virus production and storage in lymphoid tissue reservoirs and evidence of productive infection of macrophages in the nervous system. With the quantitative approach described, it should be possible to design and assess the impact of treatment and shed light on the outstanding issues in pathogenesis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Received 2 December 1996; revised 19 March 1997. All animal experiments were done in accordance with National Institutes of Health Guidelines on the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Financial support: Pediatric AIDS Foundation Scholar Award (T.A.R.); Volkswagen Foundation (L.E.E.). Reprints or correspondence: Dr. Ashley T. Haase, Dept. of Microbiology, University of Minnesota Medical School, 420 Delaware Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455. * Current address: Immunopathology Unit, Glaxo Wellcome Medicines Research Centre, Gunnels Wood Rd., Stevenage, Herts., SG1 2NY, UK.