SIV/SHIV-Zika co-infection does not alter disease pathogenesis in adult non-pregnant rhesus macaque model

by Mehdi R. M. Bidokhti, Debashis Dutta, Lepakshe S. V. Madduri, Shawna M. Woollard, Robert Norgren Jr., Luis Giavedoni, Siddappa N. Byrareddy

Due to the large geographical overlap of populations exposed to Zika virus (ZIKV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), understanding the disease pathogenesis of co-infection is urgently needed. This warrants the development of an animal model for HIV-ZIKV co-infection. In this study, we used adult non-pregnant macaques that were chronically infected with simian immunodeficiency virus/chimeric simian human immunodeficiency virus (SIV/SHIV) and then inoculated with ZIKV. Plasma viral loads of both SIV/SHIV and ZIKV co-infected animals revealed no significant changes as compared to animals that were infected with ZIKV alone or as compared to SIV/SHIV infected animals prior to ZIKV inoculation. ZIKV tissue clearance of co-infected animals was similar to animals that were infected with ZIKV alone. Furthermore, in co-infected macaques, there was no statistically significant difference in plasma cytokines/chemokines levels as compared to prior to ZIKV inoculation. Collectively, these findings suggest that co-infection may not alter disease pathogenesis, thus warranting larger HIV-ZIKV epidemiological studies in order to validate these findings.

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