We used pathogenic and nonpathogenic simian models of SIV infection of Chinese and Indian rhesus macaque (RMs) and African green monkeys (AGMs), respectively, to investigate the relationship between polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) death and the extent of viral replication and disease outcome. In this study, we showed that PMN death increased early during the acute phase of SIV infection in Chinese RMs and coincided with the peak of viral replication on day 14. The level of PMN death was significantly more severe in RMs that progressed more rapidly to AIDS and coincided with neutropenia. Neutropenia was also observed in Indian RMs and was higher in non-Mamu-A*01 compared with Mamu-A*01 animals. In stark contrast, no changes in the levels of PMN death were observed in the nonpathogenic model of SIVagm-sab (sabaeus) infection of AGMs despite similarly high viral replication. PMN death was a Bax and Bak-independent mitochondrial insult, which is prevented by inhibiting calpain activation but not caspases. We found that BOB/GPR15, a SIV coreceptor, is expressed on the PMN surface of RMs at a much higher levels than AGMs and its ligation induced PMN death, suggesting that SIV particle binding to the cell surface is sufficient to induce PMN death. Taken together, our results suggest that species-specific differences in BOB/GPR15 receptor expression on PMN can lead to increased acute phase PMN death. This may account for the decline in PMN numbers that occurs during primary SIV infection in pathogenic SIV infection and may have important implications for subsequent viral replication and disease progression.