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Two rhesus monkeys were infected with SIVmac 251. Elevated urinary neopterin concentrations were observed as the first sign of infection. Virus-specific antibodies were detected 14 days after infection, when neopterin concentrations were already decreasing. The neopterin levels of one animal remained elevated and the virus was repeatedly isolated. Urinary or serum neopterin concentrations appear to be early markers for SIV infection and viremia in rhesus monkeys.