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Social Stress Alters Immune Response and Results in Higher Viral Load During Acute SIV Infection in a Pigtailed Macaque Model of HIV

By Selena M. Guerrero-Martin, Leah H. Rubin, Kirsten M. McGee, Erin N. Shirk, Suzanne E Queen, Ming Li, Brandon Bullock, Bess W. Carlson, Robert J. Adams, Lucio Gama, David R. Graham, Christine Zink, Janice E. Clements, Joseph Mankowski, Kelly AM Pate

Posted 23 Apr 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.21.054130

While social distancing is a key public health response during viral pandemics, social stress, which can be induced by social isolation, has been implicated in adverse health outcomes in general[1][1] and in the context of infectious disease, such as HIV[2][2],[3][3]. A comprehensive understanding of the direct pathophysiologic effects of social stress on viral pathogenesis is needed to provide strategic and comprehensive care to patients with viral infection. To determine the effect of social stress on HIV pathogenesis during acute viral infection without sociobehavioral confounders inherent in human cohorts, we compared commonly measured parameters of HIV progression between singly and socially housed SIV-infected pigtailed macaques ( Macaca nemestrina ). Singly housed macaques had a higher viral load in the plasma and cerebrospinal fluid and demonstrated greater CD4 T cell declines and greater CD4 and CD8 T cell activation compared to socially housed macaques throughout acute infection. These data demonstrate that social stress directly impacts the pathogenesis of acute HIV infection and imply that social stress may act as an integral variable in the progression of HIV infection and potentially of other viral infections. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest. [1]: #ref-1 [2]: #ref-2 [3]: #ref-3

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