A model of genital herpes simplex virus Type 1 infection in Rhesus Macaques

Meropi Aravantinou, Population Council
Ines Frank, Population Council
Geraldine Arrode-Bruses
Moriah Szpara
Brooke Grasperge
James Blanchard
Agegnehu Gettie
Nina Derby, Population Council
Elena Martinelli, Population Council


Background: Although HSV-2 is the major cause of genital lesions, HSV-1 accounts for half of new cases in developed countries. Methods: Three healthy SHIV-SF162P3-infected Indian rhesus macaques were inoculated with 4×10^8 pfu of HSV-1 twice, with the second inoculation performed after the vaginal mucosa was gently abraded with a cytobrush. Results: HSV-1 DNA was detected in vaginal swabs 5 days after the second but not the first inoculation in all three macaques. An increase in inflammatory cytokines was detected in the vaginal fluids of the animals with no or intermittent shedding. Higher frequency of blood α_4β_7^high CD4+ T cells was measured in the animals with consistent and intermitted shedding, while a decrease in the frequency of CD69+ CD4+ T cells was present in all animals. Conclusions: This macaque model of genital HSV-1 could be useful to study the impact of the growing epidemic of genital HSV-1 on HIV infection.