Use of simian immunodeficiency viruses for AIDS research

R. C. Desrosiers, D. J. Ringler

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Despite frequent statements to the contrary, there are good animal models for AIDS. In this review, we summarize the properties of one of the most useful animal models: infection of rhesus monkeys with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). The SIVs are an extensive group of HIV-related lentiviruses of nonhuman primates. They closely resemble the human AIDS viruses, HIV-1 and HIV-2, in both gene sequence and biological properties. Some SIV isolates, most notably those derived from macaques and mangabeyes, induce AIDS in rhesus monkeys in a time frame suitable for laboratory investigation. Rhesus monkeys are not endangered in the wild, they breed well in captivity, and they are available in reasonably large numbers. Study of SIV has already resulted in seminal contributions regarding the origins of the HIVs, AIDS pathogenesis, and vaccine and therapy research. Continued use of SIV systems will be an important weapon in our arsenal against AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-312
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Animal models
  • HIV-1
  • HIV-2
  • Pathogenesis
  • Simian immunodeficiency virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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