Development of a pigtail macaque model of sexually transmitted infection/HIV coinfection using Chlamydia trachomatis, Trichomonas vaginalis, and SHIVSF162P3


Dr Ellen Kersh, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-A25, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.
Tel.: (404) 639 2728;
fax: (404) 639 0092;


Background  Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are associated with an increased risk of HIV infection. To model the interaction between STIs and HIV infection, we evaluated the capacity of the pigtail macaque model to sustain triple infection with Trichomonas vaginalis, Chlamydia trachomatis, and SHIVSF162P3.

Methods  Seven SHIVSF162P3-infected pigtail macaques were inoculated with T. vaginalis only (n = 2), C. trachomatis only (n = 1), both T. vaginalis and C. trachomatis (n = 2), or control media (no STI; n = 2). Infections were confirmed by culture and/or nucleic acid testing. Genital mucosa was visualized by colposcopy.

Results  Characteristic gynecologic signs were observed for both STIs, but not in control animals. Manifestations were most prominent at days 7–10 post-infection. STIs persisted between 4 and 6 weeks and were cleared with antibiotics.

Conclusions  These pilot studies demonstrate the first successful STI-SHIV triple infection of pigtail macaques, with clinical presentation of genital STI symptoms similar to those observed in humans.