Sustained genital tract inflammation caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is known to increase risk of vaginal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections but, to our knowledge, there are no nonhuman primate studies that have evaluated its link to rectal HIV acquisition.Methods
Rhesus macaques inoculated with Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) (serovars LGV-L2 and CT-E; n = 7) or saline (n = 7) received up to 20 rectal challenges twice a week of simian/HIV immunodeficiency virus (SHIVSF162p3). SHIV viremia was determined by real-time PCR and Chlamydia infection by APTIMA Combo 2 testing. The rectal cytokine-chemokine levels were evaluated by multiplex bead assays.Results
Rectal Chlamydia infection was maintained throughout the study. We did not observe significant differences (P = 1.0) in frequency of SHIV acquisition between the STI and control arms. It took fewer SHIV challenges to infect the STI animals although the difference was not significant (P = 0.59). There were no significant differences in peak plasma viremia between STI and control arms (P = 0.63). The association of plasma viremia with rectal shedding was significantly different by arm (P = 0.038).Conclusions
In the first such study in a macaque model, we did not observe an increased risk of SHIV acquisition due to rectal Chlamydia coinfection. This macaque model can be further developed and expanded to better investigate the impact of different rectal STIs on HIV acquisition.