Rhabdo-immunodeficiency virus, a murine model of acute HIV-1 infection

Rachel A. Liberatore, Emily J. Mastrocola, Elena Cassella, Fabian Schmidt, Jessie R. Willen, Dennis Voronin, Trinity Zang, Theodora Hatziioannou, Paul D. Bieniasz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Numerous challenges have impeded HIV-1 vaccine development. Among these is the lack of a convenient small animal model in which to study antibody elicitation and efficacy. We describe a chimeric Rhabdo-Immunodeficiency virus (RhIV) murine model that recapitulates key features of HIV-1 entry, tropism and antibody sensitivity. RhIVs are based on vesicular stomatitis viruses (VSV), but viral entry is mediated by HIV-1 Env proteins from diverse HIV-1 strains. RhIV infection of transgenic mice expressing human CD4 and CCR5, exclusively on mouse CD4+ cells, at levels mimicking those on human CD4+ T-cells, resulted in acute, resolving viremia and CD4+ T-cell depletion. RhIV infection elicited protective immunity, and antibodies to HIV-1 Env that were primarily non-neutralizing and had modest protective efficacy following passive transfer. The RhIV model enables the convenient in vivo study of HIV-1 Env-receptor interactions, antiviral activity of antibodies and humoral responses against HIV-1 Env, in a genetically manipulatable host.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Neuroscience


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