Oral transmission of primate lentiviruses

Ruth M. Ruprecht, Timothy W. Baba, Vladimir Liska, Nancy B. Ray, Louis N. Martin, Michael Murphey-Corb, Tahir A. Rizvi, Bruce J. Bernacky, Michale E. Keeling, Harold M. McClure, Janet Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Oral transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is well documented in children who become infected postnatally through breast milk. In contrast, epidemiologic surveys have yielded conflicting data regarding oral HIV-1 transmission among adults, even though case reports have described seroconversion and the development of AIDS in adults whose only risk was oral-genital contact. To study oral virus transmission in primate models, we exposed rhesus macaques of various ages to cell-free simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), including uncloned and molecularly cloned viruses. In neonates, viremia and AIDS developed after nontraumatic oral exposure to several SIV strains. Furthermore, chimeric simian human immunodeficiency viruses containing the HIV-1 envelope can also cross intact upper gastrointestinal mucosal surfaces in neonates. In adult macaques, infection and AIDS have resulted from well-controlled, nontraumatic, experimental oral exposure to different strains of SIV. These findings have implications for the risks of HIV-1 transmission during oral-genital contact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S408-S412
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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