Vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can occur in utero, during delivery, and through breastfeeding. We utilized Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging coupled with fluorescent microscopy of 64Cu-labeled photoactivatable-GFP-HIV (PA-GFP-BaL) to determine how HIV virions distribute and localize in neonatal rhesus macaques two and four hours after oral viral challenge. Our results show that by four hours after oral viral exposure, HIV virions localize to and penetrate the rectal mucosa. We also used a dual viral challenge with a non-replicative viral vector and a replication competent SHIV-1157ipd3N4 to examine viral transduction and dissemination at 96 hours. Our data show that while SHIV-1157ipd3N4 infection can be found in the oral cavity and upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the small and large intestine contained the largest number of infected cells. Moreover, we found that T cells were the biggest population of infected immune cells. Thus, thanks to these novel technologies, we are able to visualize and delineate of viral distribution and infection throughout the entire neonatal GI tract during acute viral infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology