Comparing Current and Next-Generation Humanized Mouse Models for Advancing HIV and HIV/Mtb Co-Infection Studies Journal Articles uri icon

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  • In people living with HIV, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is the major cause of death. Due to the increased morbidity/mortality in co-infection, further research is urgently required. A limiting factor to research in HIV and HIV/Mtb co-infection is the lack of accessible in vivo models. Next-generation humanized mice expressing HLA transgenes report improved human immune reconstitution and functionality, which may better recapitulate human disease. This study compares well-established huNRG mice and next-generation HLA I/II-transgenic (huDRAG-A2) mice for immune reconstitution, disease course, and pathology in HIV and TB. HuDRAG-A2 mice have improved engraftment of key immune cell types involved in HIV and TB disease. Upon intravaginal HIV-1 infection, both models developed significant HIV target cell depletion in the blood and tissues. Upon intranasal Mtb infection, both models sustained high bacterial load within the lungs and tissue dissemination. Some huDRAG-A2 granulomas appeared more classically organized, characterized by focal central necrosis, multinucleated giant cells, and foamy macrophages surrounded by a halo of CD4+ T cells. HIV/Mtb co-infection in huNRG mice trended towards worsened TB pathology and showed potential for modeling co-infection. Both huNRG and huDRAG-A2 mice are viable options for investigating HIV and TB, but the huDRAG-A2 model may offer advantages.


  • Lepard, Madeleine
  • Yang, Jack X
  • Afkhami, Sam
  • Nazli, Aisha
  • Zganiacz, Anna
  • Tang, Shangguo
  • Choi, Margaret Wa Yan
  • Vahedi, Fatemah
  • Deshiere, Alexandre
  • Tremblay, Michel J
  • Xing, Zhou
  • Kaushic, Charu
  • Gillgrass, Amy

publication date

  • August 30, 2022