Using the Pathogenic and Nonpathogenic Nonhuman Primate Model for Studying Non-AIDS Comorbidities

Ivona Pandrea, Alan Landay, Cara Wilson, Jennifer Stock, Russell Tracy, Cristian Apetrei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


With the advent of antiretroviral therapy that can control virus replication below the detection levels of conventional assays, a new clinical landscape of AIDS emerged, in which non-AIDS complications prevail over AIDS-defining conditions. These comorbidities are diverse and affect multiple organs, thus resulting in cardiovascular, kidney, neurocognitive and liver disease, osteopenia/osteoporosis, and cancers. A common feature of these conditions is that they are generally associated with accelerated aging. The mechanism behind these comorbidities is chronic excessive inflammation induced by HIV infection, which persists under antiretroviral therapy. Progressive simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection of nonhuman primates (NHPs) closely reproduces these comorbidities and offers a simplified system in which most of the traditional human risk factors for comorbidities (i.e., smoking, hyperlipidemia) are absent. Additionally, experimental conditions can be properly controlled during a shorter course of disease for SIV infection. As such, NHPs can be employed to characterize new paradigms of AIDS pathogenesis and to test the efficacy of interventions aimed at alleviating non-AIDS-related comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-67
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent HIV/AIDS Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 22 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Dysbiosis
  • HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN)
  • HIV-associated neurocognitive disease (HAND)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Hypercoagulation
  • Microbial translocation
  • Simian immunodeficiency virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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