Prevention and treatment of koala retrovirus (KoRV) infection: lessons from studies of AIDS viruses in nonhuman primate models
The presence of multiple retroviruses in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), including viruses with exogenous infectious forms that may be associated with malignant disease manifestations, poses challenges for both management of captive populations and species preservation in the wild. The development of antiretroviral medications (ARV) for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is one of the triumphs of modern medicine, and many of these drugs have relatively broad antiretroviral activity, suggesting they might be active against koala retroviruses (KoRVs). However, accumulating experience with the use of these medications in non-human primate (NHP) models of HIV infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) points out several caveats and provides guidance in attempting to use anti-HIV drugs in the treatment of retroviral infection in nonhuman species. This manuscript reviews that experience from the perspective of potential use of ARVs for prevention and treatment of KoRV infection.