Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Horizons

Georgia Tech's Research Horizons Magazine
Menu

Not Monkeying Around

scan of virus in vivo

Positron-emission tomography/ computed tomography images show the viral presence before and during treatment. Virus detection in the gastrointestinal tract decreases under treatment but is not completely eradicated. Image: Phil Santangelo.

Researchers have developed a noninvasive method to image simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) replication in real-time, in vivo. This approach, reported in the journal Nature Methods, is based on immune positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) and allows for the capture of viral dynamics of SIV, the animal model of human HIV infection. This approach has application to the study of immunodeficiency virus pathogenesis and drug and vaccine development, and could have use with human patients to identify viral reservoirs — potentially leading to new treatments for HIV/AIDS.

Francois Villinger, a researcher in the Yerkes Research Center’s Microbiology and Immunology Division, and Philip Santangelo, a researcher in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, led the study with their respective teams and collaborators at the Emory School of Medicine. Using the nonhuman primate model of human HIV infection, their approach uncovered previously unappreciated sites of viral replication, such as in nasal tissue.

In addition, the methodology captured the wide variation in viral replication levels within select organs, including sections of the gastrointestinal tract, whether or not the subject was taking antiretroviral therapy. Finally, the methodology allows for repeat analysis of the viral dynamics, during acute infection, anti-viral therapy and upon cessation of therapy.

“Use of the technique could lead to a better understanding of viral dynamics in the body, which could help target new generations of therapeutics and diagnostics,” explained Santangelo. “This could help us find the regions where the virus is replicating and allow us to focus molecular diagnostics on the areas that are really important.” —YERKES RESEARCH CENTER

ipad cover issue 3 2015

Keep in touch with the latest Georgia Tech research news through our print magazine, monthly e-newsletter, and Twitter feed.
SUBSCRIBE NOW >

Georgia Tech is home to more than 2,500 faculty members who conduct scientific and engineering research in hundreds of different research areas.

Related Stories

Read More
Read More
Read More

Get the Latest Research News in Your Inbox

Sign up for the Research Horizons Monthly Newsletter

Media Contacts

John Toon

John Toon

Director of Research News
Phone: 404.894.6986
photo - Ben Brumfield

Ben Brumfield

Senior Science Writer
Phone: 404.385.1933
Josh Brown

Josh Brown

Senior Science Writer
Phone: 404-385-0500

Subscribe & Connect

Follow Us on Twitter:

@gtresearchnews

RSS Feeds

Subscribe to our RSS Feeds with your favorite reader.

Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter.

Research Horizons Magazine

Sign up for a free subscription to Research Horizons magazine.