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Researchers at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) College of Veterinary Medicine and Burroughs Wellcome Company have developed a new small-animal model for use in screening and identifying drugs that can combat HIV.
The model was created by engrafting immune system cells from cats into a breed of mouse that lacks a functioning immune system. The mice, known as SCID mice, are born with severe combined immunodeficiency disease, a condition that strips them of their natural immune defenses.
The effect of the transplant, the researchers say, is to establish a functioning feline immune system in the mice. The mice are subsequently injected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), which infects the animals by targeting specific …