The Non-human primate Core will provide five essential research support services for all research Projects. First, the Core will manage and provide oversight of all aspects of non-human primate screening, procurement, and compliance with federal animal welfare and biosafety regulations and University guidelines. Second, the Core will oversee husbandry and veterinary care for the non-human primates of each ofthe three Projects and provide clinical evaluations throughout the studies. Third, the Core will provide technical expertise in experimental infection of macaques with SHIV and Pneumocystis, procedures and manipulations such as immunizations, inoculations, blood sample collection, bronchoscopy, pulmonary function testing and imaging, in support ofthe individual research Projects. Fourth, the Core will provide flow cytometry and cellular immunology services of primate samples. Fifth, the Core will perform necropsies and provide tissues preparation and banking at termination, collect, manage and distribute serial samples from primates in each of the studies and will coordinate data analyses with Project Pis. Centralizing all nonhuman primate work will standardize animal procedures and assure consistency in animal care, sample collection and analyses among the groups of animals used in the individual projects.
Infection with Pneumocystis remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients, including HIV-infected individuals. This work is directly relevant to the evaluation of Pneumocystis vaccine strategies in healthy and SHIV-immunosuppressed macaques. Pre-clinical testing of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccination strategies in a primate model of HIV infection is an essential step toward eventual clinical trials.
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