University of Cambridge > > Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine > What feline immunodeficiency virus can teach us about HIV

What feline immunodeficiency virus can teach us about HIV

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The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus similar to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that undergoes persistent infection and causes an AIDS -like disease in domestic cats. FIV is sensitive to most HIV drugs and evades immune surveillance through mechanisms similar to those exploited by HIV . Thus, FIV and its natural host, the domestic cat, are considered a reliable model to develop new antiretrovirals and design novel approaches to vaccinate against lentiviruses. The FIV animal model has been extensively used for vaccine studies and attempts to develop an effective FIV vaccine have met with difficulties similar to those encountered with AIDS vaccines. Suboptimal immunogenicity, inadequate antigen presentation, and inappropriate immune system activation are believed to have contributed to these disappointing results. This lecture will focus on some recent approaches to improve antigen presentation by making use of autologous FIV -loaded dendritic cells or T-lymphocytes engineered in such a way to mimic FIV -infected cells. Findings, implications and transferability to human AIDS will be discussed.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine series.

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