Since the discovery of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and the human immunodeficiency viruses HIV-1 and HIV-2 in patients 25 years ago, efforts have been directed toward identifying or developing appropriate models for this disease. Several species of nonhuman primates can be productively infected with primate lentiviruses HIV-1, HIV-2, SIV, and genetic chimeras of HIV and SIV (SHIV), and the ensuing pathology has many elements in common with HIV infection of humans. This chapter summarizes the key features of the nonhuman primate models that have been developed for AIDS research as of 2006. It focuses on (1) the major contributions and limitations of these models to our understanding of HIV infection and pathogenesis and (2) uses of the models to test prophylactic and therapeutic approaches to prevent infection and/or limit disease. It is intended as a reference for investigators in the field as well as for those considering utilizing the models to address specific questions in AIDS research. In an overview of this type, comprehensive referencing of studies is not possible, and key examples are included in an effort to cite some of the many important studies performed to date. Many excellent comprehensive and focused reviews on the subject of nonhuman primate models for AIDS have been written in the past several years, and readers are encouraged to consult these reviews for details, examples, and additional references.
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