Human T-lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III) is thought to play an etiologic role in the development of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). In this study the serologic characterization of a new simian retrovirus that is related to HTLV-III is described. This new virus, here referred to as STLV-III, was isolated from sick macaques at the New England Regional Primate Research Center. Radioimmunoprecipitation analysis revealed STLV-III-specific proteins of 160, 120, 55, and 24 kilodaltons, all similar in size to the major gag and env proteins of HTLV-III. These antigens were recognized by representative macaque serum samples and human reference serum samples positive for HTLV-III antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies directed to p24, the major core protein of HTLV-III, also immunoprecipitated a 24-kilodalton species in lysates of cells infected with the macaque virus. This HTLV-III-related virus, which naturally infects a nonhuman primate species, may provide a useful model for the study of HTLV-III and the pathogenesis of AIDS.

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