A novel humanized mouse model for HIV and tuberculosis co-infection studies

José Alejandro Bohórquez, Sitaramaraju Adduri, Danish Ansari, Sahana John, Jon Florence, Omoyeni Adejare, Gaurav Singh, Nagarjun V. Konduru, Chinnaswamy Jagannath, Guohua Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), continues to be a major public health problem worldwide. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is another equally important life-threatening pathogen. HIV infection decreases CD4+ T cell levels markedly increasing Mtb co-infections. An appropriate animal model for HIV/Mtb co-infection that can recapitulate the diversity of the immune response in humans during co-infection would facilitate basic and translational research in HIV/Mtb infections. Herein, we describe a novel humanized mouse model. Methods: The irradiated NSG-SGM3 mice were transplanted with human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells, and the humanization was monitored by staining various immune cell markers for flow cytometry. They were challenged with HIV and/or Mtb, and the CD4+ T cell depletion and HIV viral load were monitored over time. Before necropsy, the live mice were subjected to pulmonary function test and CT scan, and after sacrifice, the lung and spleen homogenates were used to determine Mtb load (CFU) and cytokine/chemokine levels by multiplex assay, and lung sections were analyzed for histopathology. The mouse sera were subjected to metabolomics analysis. Results: Our humanized NSG-SGM3 mice were able to engraft human CD34+ stem cells, which then differentiated into a full-lineage of human immune cell subsets. After co-infection with HIV and Mtb, these mice showed decrease in CD4+ T cell counts overtime and elevated HIV load in the sera, similar to the infection pattern of humans. Additionally, Mtb caused infections in both lungs and spleen, and induced granulomatous lesions in the lungs. Distinct metabolomic profiles were also observed in the tissues from different mouse groups after co-infections. Conclusion: The humanized NSG-SGM3 mice are able to recapitulate the pathogenic effects of HIV and Mtb infections and co-infection at the pathological, immunological and metabolism levels and are therefore a reproducible small animal model for studying HIV/Mtb co-infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1395018
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - 2024


  • HIV
  • HIV/Mtb-differentiated metabolites
  • HIV/Mtb-induced immunopathogenesis
  • humanized mouse model
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • NSG-SGM3 mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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