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IN BRIEF

Science / Medicine : Monkeys for AIDS Study

October 05, 1987

The first animal model accurate enough for testing drugs and vaccines for use against AIDS in humans is finally ready for experiments, doctors report.

According to Dr. Norman Letvin at Harvard University's New England Regional Primate Center in Southboro, Mass., the rhesus monkey, when infected by a relative of the AIDS virus, gets a syndrome that almost exactly matches what happens in humans with AIDS.

Having such an animal model is "absolutely critical" in studies aimed at curbing the worldwide epidemic of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Letvin said. The Asian rhesus monkey, infected by the simian immune deficiency virus from Africa, seems to meet the requirements.

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