Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections are rarely acquired via an oral route in adults. Previous studies have shown that human whole saliva inhibits HIV infection in vitro, and multiple factors present in human saliva have been shown to contribute to this antiviral activity. Despite the widespread use of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaques as models for HIV pathogenesis and transmission, few studies have monitored SIV in the oral cavity of infected rhesus macaques and evaluated the viral inhibitory capacity of macaque saliva. Utilizing a cohort of rhesus macaques infected with SIVMac251, we monitored virus levels and genotypic diversity in the saliva throughout the course of the disease; findings were similar to previous observations in HIV-infected humans. An in vitro infectivity assay was utilized to measure inhibition of HIV/SIV infection by normal human and rhesus macaque whole saliva. Both human and macaque saliva were capable of inhibiting HIV and SIV infection. The inhibitory capacity of saliva samples collected from a cohort of animals postinfection with SIV increased over the course of disease, coincident with the development of SIV-specific antibodies in the saliva. These findings suggest that both innate and adaptive factors contribute to inhibition of SIV by whole macaque saliva. This work also demonstrates that SIV-infected rhesus macaques provide a relevant model to examine the innate and adaptive immune responses that inhibit HIV/SIV in the oral cavity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases