An Overview of Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and its impact

An Overview of Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and its impact

What is the Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)?

The Simian immunodeficiency virus is an HIV-like virus that can affect monkeys and apes and cause a disease similar to AIDS because HIV and SIV are closely related viruses. Researchers study SIV to explore HIV AIDS; however, SIV cannot infect humans and people with HIV cannot affect monkeys.

Simian Immunodeficiency Virus causes incessant infections in about 45 African non-human primate species. The pathogenesis of SIV includes both non-pathogenic and pathogenic conditions of SIV. Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) is the lentivirus most closely associated with HIV testing.

SIV infection in primates is the preferred model for analysing the potency of vaccines and pathogenesis against Human HIV infection. The ZeptoMetrix WESTERN BLOT is for in vitro discovery of antibodies to SIV in immunotoxin or plasma; it is also available in 10 or 30 strip kit presentations.

Persistent illness, but the rarely severe disease, is caused by the SIV virus of non-human primates (NHPs). SIV’s progression to develop AIDS ranges from months to years, depending on the variations of virus strains. In most cases, SIV infections in their natural hosts appear to be non-pathogenic, which is quite different from HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections in humans. SIV virus strains from SIV SMM in SIV cpz infects chimpanzees, and sooty mangabeys are considered competent in crossbreeding the species barrier to humans, thus resulting in HIV-1 and HIV-2.

The most likely transmitting HIV to humans includes contact with chimpanzees’ blood as they are often hunted and slaughtered for bushmeat in Africa. Virus strains from two primate species, SIVcpz in chimpanzees and SIVsmm in sooty mangabeys, have crossed the species blockade into humans, resulting in HIV-2 and HIV-1, sequentially, the two human immunodeficiency viruses.

We also offer a benchtop, western blot processor, the AUTOBOT 3000; it controls incubation times, dispensing volumes, and washing programs. Researchers can use ten user-defined protocols. Western blotting is used in cell activation and molecular biology to classify and identify distinct proteins from a heterogeneous mixture of proteins elicited from cells mediated. In this procedure, an aggregate of proteins is classified based on their molecular mass through gel electrophoresis, which functions as a molecular sieve.

Transmission and Life Cycle

SIV is transferred by contact with infected body fluids such as blood. It is widespread among non-human primates, and in most species, it does not appear to cause severe illness. Nevertheless, in chimpanzees, SIV infection can provoke a disease resembling AIDS, i.e. acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in humans, caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

Several studies have depicted that, comparable to HIV, SIV affects helper treg cells, i.e., CD4+ T cells, the white blood cells that represent a vital role in regulating various immune functions. The SIV-infected cells usually undergo apoptosis, programmed cell death in one day of infection.

As a consequence, the cell subset dies more quickly than the immune system can replace them. Thus, immune function gradually deteriorates, giving rise to an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, which leaves the animal susceptible to fatigue and potentially life-threatening co-infection with other organisms. Before disease symptoms, the long incubation period underlies SIV’s classification as a lent virus or slow virus.

The SIV genome subsists of a single-stranded RNA molecule that encodes only a small number of proteins, one of which is an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. Reverse transcriptase is unique to retroviruses and serves to synthesize DNA from retrovirus RNA.

This step is critical to the life cycle of SIV. On its own, SIV cannot replicate; cells are required. However, in the form of reverse-transcribed DNA, the virus can integrate itself into the host cell’s genome.

cell development within infected vs healthy SIV virus infection in adult rhesus macaques

Masked as part of the DNA host, the virus can use the host cell’s replication machinery to reproduce its DNA back into RNA by creating a copy of itself. In this way, many new compositions from the virus’s biogenetic material are produced. The structures of SIV RNA are then packaged into distinct virus particles, all of which are about 80–100 nanometers in diameter. These particles ultimately bud off from the host cell, a process that releases them to affect more cells.


SIV pathogenesis comprises both pathogenic and non-pathogenic SIV infections. SIV infection invariably results in persistent infection of non-human primates (NHPs) but rarely acute disease. Rhesus macaques affected with SIV strains derived from mangabeys epitomize pathogenic infection. The disease’s progression to AIDS transpires within months to years, mainly depending upon the SIV strain used.

African non-human primates commonly contaminated with SIV exemplify non-pathogenic infection. These creatures rarely advance to AIDS, notwithstanding maintaining viral loads similar to SIV viral loads in pathogenic diseases. It is presumed that AIDS-like illness in African NHPs represents the horizontal transmission of the virus from one or more homologous species in the recent evolutionary past before the balance of co-adaptation transpired.

Prevention and Treatment

●  Macaque nurses, vets, and researchers should wear PPE to avoid accidental exposure due to the potential splash of body fluids from infected macaques.

●  Research involving animals and SlV cultures should be conducted under BSL-2 levels and in biological safety cabinets.

●  Inoculation of SIV-containing material represents a potential route of exposure to SIV in humans, so extra care must be taken when necessary to use needles.

●  SIV causes persistent lifelong infection in NHPs for which no treatments are known.

●  Breeding colonies of SIV- infected, African-origin NHPs should be segregated from SIV-negative territories and follow strict husbandry procedures to segregate Asian-origin animals from African-origin animals.

●  These procedures involve separate shelters, veterinary medication, facilities, and equipment types to limit the potential for cross-species viruses to occur strictly.

●  Although aerosol transmission of SIV has not been demonstrated, a biosafety cabinet for work is recommended.

Visit the Helvetica Health Care website to buy ZeptoMetrix western blot for in vitro detection of antibodies to SIV.