Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Pneumocystis carinii (Pc) infection was observed in three of five rhesus monkeys infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVmac251). They showed severe symptoms similar to those associated with human acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Histopathology revealed severe pulmonary pneumocystosis in one of three Pc-positive monkeys, and anti-Pc antibodies were detected in sera from two of the three monkeys. Localization of Pc organisms in various organs of the monkeys was examined by the polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) method, and Pc-specific bands of DNA amplification were detected in the liver, kidney, spleen, adrenal gland, testis, brain, and other organs examined, but no Pc organism was found in these organs by histopathologic examination. These results suggest that the activation of a latent infection of Pc occurs in SIV-infected rhesus monkeys as well as in human AIDS. Experimental transmission of Pc derived from a simian was attempted in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice and athymic nude (rnu/rnu, F344) rats. These animals were inoculated intranasally with 104 Pc cysts, but neither histopathologic changes nor Pc organisms were detected in SCID mice at 4 months after inoculation or in nude rats at 2 months postinoculation, suggesting that simian Pc is species-specific.
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