Cristian Apetrei, MD, PhD

Associate Professor

Dr. Apetrei


Fax: 412-624-4400

9044 Biomedical Science Tower 3

3501 Fifth Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15261-1308


MD, University of Iasi (Romania)

PhD in Microbiology, University of Iasi (Romania)

Research Summary

Dr. Apetrei's laboratory focuses on the study of the HIV/SIV diversity and pathogenesis. By using monkey models, we are currently studying the mechanisms of viral adaptation in new hosts and the events associated with viral emergence. We identified and characterized new SIVsmm strains that harbor a genetic diversity that is similar to that of HIV-1 group M subtypes and thus can be used in rhesus macaques to improve the currently available animal models. To better understand the correlates of immune protection in HIV infection, we are using various models of SIV infection in natural African nonhuman primate hosts. In these species, SIVs are not pathogenic in the vast majority of cases. Since no vaccine strategy currently developed seems to be effective, these alternative approaches may be essential in the control of AIDS pandemic.

Research Lab Affiliation


Apetrei, C; Gaufin, T; Gautam, R; Vinton, C; Hirsch, V; Lewis, M; Brenchley, J; and Pandrea, I. (2010) Pattern of SIVagm infection in patas monkeys suggests that host adaptation to simian immunodeficiency virus infection may result in resistance to infection and virus extinction. J Infect Dis. 202 Suppl 3: S371-S376. |  View Abstract

Gnanadurai, C. W; Pandrea, I; Parrish, N. F; Kraus, M. H; Learn, G. H; Salazar, M. G; Sauermann, U; Topfer, K; Gautam, R; Munch, J; Stahl-Hennig, C; Apetrei, C; Hahn, B. H; and Kirchhoff, F. (2010) Genetic identity and biological phenotype of a transmitted/founder virus representative of nonpathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus infection in African green monkeys. J Virol. 84: 12245-12254. |  View Abstract

Riddick, N. E; Hermann, E. A; Loftin, L. M; Elliott, S. T; Wey, W. C; Cervasi, B; Taaffe, J; Engram, J. C; Li, B; Else, J. G; Li, Y; Hahn, B. H; Derdeyn, C. A; Sodora, D. L; Apetrei, C; Paiardini, M; Silvestri, G; and Collman, R. G. (2010) A novel CCR5 mutation common in sooty mangabeys reveals SIVsmm infection of CCR5-null natural hosts and efficient alternative coreceptor use in vivo. PLoS Pathog. 6: e1001064. |  View Abstract

Worobey, M; Telfer, P; Souquiere, S; Hunter, M; Coleman, C. A; Metzger, M. J; Reed, P; Makuwa, M; Hearn, G; Honarvar, S; Roques, P; Apetrei, C; Kazanji, M; and Marx, P. A. (2010) Island biogeography reveals the deep history of SIV. Science. 329: 1487. |  View Abstract

Harris, L. D; Tabb, B; Sodora, D. L; Paiardini, M; Klatt, N. R; Douek, D. C; Silvestri, G; Muller-Trutwin, M; Vasile-Pandrea, I; Apetrei, C; Hirsch, V; Lifson, J; Brenchley, J. M; and Estes, J. D. (2010) Downregulation of robust acute type I interferon responses distinguishes nonpathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection of natural hosts from pathogenic SIV infection of rhesus macaques. J Virol. 84: 7886-7891. |  View Abstract

Gaufin, T; Ribeiro, R. M; Gautam, R; Dufour, J; Mandell, D; Apetrei, C; and Pandrea, I. (2010) Experimental depletion of CD8+ cells in acutely SIVagm-infected African Green Monkeys results in increased viral replication. Retrovirology. 7: 42. |  View Abstract

Sodora, D. L; Allan, J. S; Apetrei, C; Brenchley, J. M; Douek, D. C; Else, J. G; Estes, J. D; Hahn, B. H; Hirsch, V. M; Kaur, A; Kirchhoff, F; Muller-Trutwin, M; Pandrea, I; Schmitz, J. E; and Silvestri, G. (2009) Toward an AIDS vaccine: lessons from natural simian immunodeficiency virus infections of African nonhuman primate hosts. Nat Med. 15: 861-865. |  View Abstract