Cross-reactivity with SIVmac in east African HIV-1-positive sera: Evidence against double infection with HIV-1 and a SIVmac/HIV-2-like virus
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Simian Immunodeficiency Virus
IgG antibodies reactive with simian immunodeficiency virus isolated from a rhesus monkey suffering from simian acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (SIVmac, strain 239, a virus which is very closely related to human immunodeficiency virus type 2-HIV-2) were found in 18 of 120 Swedish and 8 of 11 east African confirmed HIV-1 antibody positive (HIV-1 ab+) sera, both by enzyme immunoassay and electrophoretic immunoblotting (p = 1 x 10(-6). In electrophoretic immunoblotting most of the cross-reactivity of SIVmac-reactive sera occurred on p27, the major gag protein of SIVmac. The possibility that SIVmac antibody reactivity could be due to double infection with HIV-1 and a SIVmac-related virus was eliminated by the results of absorptions between sera of Swedish and west and east African origin and viral antigens (SIVmac and North American or African/Haitian strains of HIV-1) coupled to agarose beads. HIV-2 ab+ and SIVmac reactive west African sera recognized SIVmac epitopes unrelated to HIV-1, whereas HIV-1 ab+, SIVmac reactive east African, and Swedish sera recognized SIVmac epitopes cross-reactive with epitopes present in both African and North American HIV-1 strains. No unique SIVmac-reactive African HIV-1 epitopes could thus be defined. Neither did absorption of Swedish and African HIV-1-positive sera with different HIV-1 strains (1 Haitian, 2 Zairian, and 1 North American) give evidence for unique epitopes.