Research | Publications | Awards | Posters & Presentations
Giavedoni Lab - TX Biomedical Research Institute Tel: (210) 258-9603Fax: (210) 670-3310Email:
Simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIV) were first discovered not long after the discovery of HIV-1 when the virus was isolated from captive rhesus macaques that displayed symptoms
of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Phylogenetic analysis has revealed that the HIV
pandemic of today was the result of multiple cross-species transmissions of SIV variants into humans. SIVs naturally infect several species of
African nonhuman primates (NHP). Although SIV is non-pathogenic in natural hosts, native hosts,
like Asian macaques, rapidly progress to immunodeficiency when infected with the virus.
One species of African NHP with no known SIVs are the baboons, even though baboons have habitats that overlap with many other NHP that harbor their own SIVs. It remains unknown how baboons are
able to overcome SIV infection, while natural
hosts develop active nonpathogenic infections and native hosts develop immunodeficiency. My current
project in the Giavedoni laboratory is aimed at characterizing innate immune responses to ex vivo
SIV infection in baboon and rhesus macaque lymphocytes in an attempt to find differences that can
be attributed to natural resistance to SIV infection in baboons.