Center for Vaccine Research

Ivona Pandrea, MD, PhD

  • Professor
  • Pathology

Dr. Pandrea is a professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Pandrea received her M.D. and Ph.D. Degrees from the School of Medicine of the "Gr. T. Popa" University of Iasi, Romania. She is board certified in the EU in Pathology. She was a doctoral student in the Paul Brousse Hospital, Paris, France and a a postdoctoral fellow at International Medical Research Center (CIRMF) of Franceville, Gabon. Dr. Pandrea expertise is in the pathogenesis of HIV/SIV infection.

Representative Publications

  • Apetrei C, Sumpter B, Souquiere S, Chahroudi A, Makuwa M, Reed P, Ribeiro RM, Pandrea I, Roques P, Silvestri G. Immunovirological analyses of chronically simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmnd-1- and SIVmnd-2-infected mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx. J Virol. 2011 Dec;85(24):13077-87. Epub 2011 Sep 28. PMID:21957286
  • Vinton C, Klatt NR, Harris LD, Briant JA, Sanders-Beer BE, Herbert R, Woodward R, Silvestri G, Pandrea I, Apetrei C, Hirsch VM, Brenchley JM. CD4-like immunological function by CD4- T cells in multiple natural hosts of simian immunodeficiency virus. J Virol. 2011 Sep;85(17):8702-8. Epub 2011 Jun 29. PMID:21715501
  • Pandrea I, Gaufin T, Gautam R, Kristoff J, Mandell D, Montefiori D, Keele BF, Ribeiro RM, Veazey RS, Apetrei C. Functional cure of SIVagm infection in rhesus macaques results in complete recovery of CD4+ T cells and is reverted by CD8+ cell depletion. PLoS Pathog. 2011 Aug;7(8):e1002170. Epub 2011 Aug 4. PMID:21829366[PubMed - in process] Free PMC Article
  • Paiardini M, Cervasi B, Reyes-Aviles E, Micci L, Ortiz AM, Chahroudi A, Vinton C, Gordon SN, Bosinger SE, Francella N, Hallberg PL, Cramer E, Schlub T, Chan ML, Riddick NE, Collman RG, Apetrei C, Pandrea I, Else J, Munch J, Kirchhoff F, Davenport MP, Brenchley JM, Silvestri G. Low levels of SIV infection in sooty mangabey central memory CD4(+) T cells are associated with limited CCR5 expression. Nat Med. 2011 Jun 26. doi: 10.1038/nm.2395. [Epub ahead of print]PMID:21706028
  • Gnanadurai CW, Pandrea I, Parrish NF, Kraus MH, Learn GH, Salazar MG, Sauermann U, Töpfer K, Gautam R, Münch J, Stahl-Hennig C, Apetrei C, Hahn BH, Kirchhoff F. Genetic identity and biological phenotype of a transmitted/founder virus representative of nonpathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus infection in African green monkeys. J Virol. 2010 Dec;84(23):12245-54. Epub 2010 Sep 29. PMID:20881048
  • Apetrei C, Gaufin T, Gautam R, Vinton C, Hirsch VM, Lewis M, Brenchley JM, & Pandrea I. Pattern of SIVagm infection in patas monkeys suggests that host adaptation to SIV infection may result in resistance to infection and virus extinction. J Infect Dis. 2010 Nov 1;202 Suppl 3:S371-6.PMID:20887227
  • Gaufin T, Ribeiro RM, Gautam R, Dufour J, Mandell D, Apetrei C, & Pandrea I. Experimental depletion of CD8+ cells in acutely SIVagm-infected African green monkeys results in increased viral replication. Retrovirology. 2010 May 11;7:42. PMID:20459829
  • Pandrea I, & Apetrei C. Where the wild things are: Pathogenesis of SIV infection in African nonhuman primate hosts. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2010 Feb;7(1):28-36. Review. PMID:20425055[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article
  • Klatt NR, Shudo E, Ortiz AM, Engram JC, Paiardini M, Lawson B, Miller MD, Else J, Pandrea I, Estes JD, Apetrei C, Schmitz JE, Ribeiro RM, Perelson AS, Silvestri G. CD8+ lymphocytes control viral replication in SIVmac239-infected rhesus macaques without decreasing the lifespan of productively infected cells. PLoS Pathog. 2010 Jan 29;6(1):e1000747. PMID:20126441
  • Gaufin T, Pattison M, Gautam R, Stoulig C, Dufour J, MacFarland J, Mandell D, Tatum C, Marx MH, Ribeiro RM, Montefiori D, Apetrei C, Pandrea I. Effect of B-cell depletion on viral replication and clinical outcome of simian immunodeficiency virus infection in a natural host. J Virol. 2009 Oct;83(20):10347-57. Epub 2009 Aug 5. PMID:19656874

Research Interests

Our work is aimed at understanding why, despite a high prevalence of SIV infection, the African nonhuman primates generally do not progress to AIDS. We are particularly interested to understand how these nonhuman primate species are able to maintain normal levels of immune activation during SIV infection. We believe that the low levels of immune activation and apoptosis allow mucosal CD4 T cell recovery and lack of disease progression in the natural hosts, in spite of continuous high levles viral replication. Our major research directions are therefore aimed to: (i) study of the correlations between the low levels of CCR5 expression on the mucosal CD4+ T cells and the low levels of immune activation and mucosal SIV transmission (particularly through breastfeeding) in the natural hosts; (ii) understanding the role of the interaction between dendritic cells and T regulatory cells in maintaining low levels of immune activation in the nonprogressive hosts; (iii) investigating how microbial translocation impact immune activation and other systemic lesions in progressive and nonprogressive hosts; and (iv) testing new avenues to prevent the intestinal barrier damage or the damage induced by the proinflammatory cytokines released during the HIV infection. Our final goal is to identify new immunotherapeutic strategies that, in association to antiretroviral drugs, may ultimately transform HIV-1 infection into a nonprogressive infection with an incubation period that exceeds the human lifespan, similar to SIV infection in natural hosts.