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Diversity in the CD4 receptor protects chimpanzees from infection by AIDS-like viruses

Beatrice H. Hahn, MD, a professor of Medicine and Microbiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and her colleagues have been studying the origin of HIV-1 in non-human primates for decades. They previously discovered that simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) infecting wild-living chimpanzees and gorillas jumped the species barrier into humans on four occasions, one of which spawned the AIDS pandemic. Understanding how these viruses are transmitted within and between species may reveal clues for novel vaccine strategies in humans.

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