Virology Faculty Member - Amitinder Kaur

Amitinder Kaur

Department of Medicine

Division of Immunology
New England Primate Research Center
One Pine Hill Drive
Southborough, MA 1772
Tel: 508-624-8169
Fax: 508-624-8172

My laboratory is conducting research on the pathogenesis of AIDS and AIDS-related opportunistic infections in nonhuman primate models of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection. Research projects include studies on immunology of cytomegalovirus (CMV) and other herpesvirus infections in rhesus macaques with simian AIDS, mechanisms of protection against AIDS in natural hosts of SIV, and immune protection induced by herpes simplex virus vector-based AIDS vaccines.

Immune control of herpesvirus infections: CMV is an important opportunistic infection associated with increased risk of progression to AIDS. The rhesus macaque model of simian AIDS is being used to investigate the immune basis of CMV reactivation in AIDS. The components of cellular immunity involved in resolution of primary viremia and maintenance of asymptomatic, latent infection are being investigated in immunocompetent and SIV-infected macaques. Studies involving in vivo depletion of T cell subsets, and phenotypic and functional examination of CMV-specific T cells, are being used to understand mechanisms of impairment of immunological memory in AIDS.

Host responses to SIV in sooty mangabeys: Sooty mangabeys are a natural host of SIV that typically do not progress to AIDS despite the presence of persistent, high-level viremia. Research is focused on analyzing the role of SIV-specific cellular immune responses and innate immunity in maintaining nonpathogenic SIV infection in sooty mangabeys.

AIDS Vaccine: Recombinant herpes simplex virus vector-based AIDS vaccines are being tested for protective efficacy in rhesus macaques. Determinants of protective immunity including functional and phenotypic properties of memory T cells, and induction of mucosal immunity are being investigated.

Last Update: 10/22/2013


1. Rout N, Else JG, Yue S, Connole M, Exley MA, Kaur A. Paucity of CD4+ natural killer T(NKT) lymphocytes in sooty mangabeys is associated with lack of NKT cell depletion after SIV infection. PLoS ONE 2010; 5(3): e9787.
2. Meythaler M, Martinot A, Wang Z, Pryputniewicz S, Kasheta M, Ling B, Marx PA, O’Neil S, Kaur A. Differential CD4+ T lymphocyte apoptosis and bystander T cell activation in rhesus macaques and sooty mangabeys during acute SIV infection. J. Virol. 2009; 83:572-583.
3. Kaur A, Sanford HB, Garry D, Lang S, Klumpp SA, Watanabe D, Bronson RT, Lifson JD, Rosati M, Pavlakis GN, Felber BK, Knipe DM, Desrosiers RC. Ability of herpes simplex virus vectors to boost immune responses to DNA vectors and to protect against challenge by simian immunodeficiency virus. Virology 2007; 357: 199-214.
4. Wang, Z, Metcalf, B, Ribeiro, RM, McClure, H, Kaur, A. Th-1 type cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocyte responses to simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) are a consistent feature of natural SIV infection in sooty mangabeys. J. Virol. 2006; 80: 2771-2783.
5. Kaur A, Kassis N, Hale Cl, Simon MA, Elliott M, Gomez-Yafal A, Lifson JD, Desrosiers RC, Wang F, Barry P, Mach M, Johnson RP. Direct relationship between suppression of virus-specific immunity and emergence of cytomegalovirus disease in simian AIDS. J. Virol. 2003; 77:5749-5758.

© 2013 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College