Lentiviruses are a subfamily of retroviruses that are characterized by long incubation periods between infection of the host and the manifestation of clinical disease. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1, the causative agent of AIDS, is the most widely studied lentivirus. However, the lentiviruses that infect sheep, goats, and horses were identified and studied prior to the emergence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1: These and other animal lentiviruses provide important systems in which to investigate the molecular pathogenesis of this family of viruses. This review will focus on two animal lentivirus models: the ovine lentivirus visna virus; and the simian lentivirus, simian immunodeficiency virus. These animal lentiviruses have been used to examine, in particular, the pathogenesis of lentivirus-induced central nervous system disease as models for humans with AIDS as well as other chronic diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases