Primary HIV-1 infection can be classified into six Fiebig stages based on virological and serological laboratory testing, whereas simian-HIV (SHIV) infection in nonhuman primates (NHPs) is defined in time post-infection, making it difficult to extrapolate NHP experiments to the clinics. We identified and extensively characterized the Fiebig-equivalent stages in NHPs challenged intrarectally or intravenously with SHIVAD8-EO. During the first month post-challenge, intrarectally challenged monkeys were up to 1 week delayed in progression through stages. However, regardless of the challenge route, stages I–II predominated before, and stages V–VI predominated after, peak viremia. Decrease in lymph node (LN) CD4+ T cell frequency and rise in CD8+ T cells occurred at stage V. LN virus-specific CD8+ T cell responses, dominated by degranulation and TNF, were first detected at stage V and increased at stage VI. A similar late elevation in follicular CXCR5+ CD8+ T cells occurred, consistent with higher plasma CXCL13 levels at these stages. LN SHIVAD8-EO RNA+ cells were present at stage II, but appeared to decline at stage VI when virions accumulated in follicles. Fiebig-equivalent staging of SHIVAD8-EO infection revealed concordance of immunological events between intrarectal and intravenous infection despite different infection progressions, and can inform comparisons of NHP studies with clinical data.


Joana Dias, Giulia Fabozzi, Kylie March, Mangaiarkarasi Asokan, Cassandra G. Almasri, Jonathan Fintzi, Wanwisa Promsote, Yoshiaki Nishimura, John-Paul Todd, Jeffrey D. Lifson, Malcolm A. Martin, Lucio Gama, Constantinos Petrovas, Amarendra Pegu, John R. Mascola, Richard A. Koup


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