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Open Access Rhesus Monkey (Macaca mulatta) Model of Helicobacter pylori: Noninvasive Detection and Derivation of Specific-Pathogen-Free Monkeys

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Background and Purpose: Development of the rhesus monkey model of Helicobacter pylori has been hampered by problems with serodetection and by the difficulty of identifying specific-pathogen (Helicobacter)-free animals. Our purpose was to determine whether detection could be improved and to determine if pathogen-free monkeys could be derived by nursery rearing.

Methods: An enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA) and a [14C]urea breath test were compared to endoscopy to determine H. pylori infection status in rhesus macaques; 18 animals were hand raised in the nursery to determine whether pathogen-free animals could be selected.

Results: Helicobacter pylori infection was common in colony-raised young rhesus monkeys and was nearly universal by adulthood. Serodetection, using antigen from rhesus-derived H. pylori strains, was 95% sensitive and 94% specific. The [14C]urea breath test was 96% sensitive and 88% specific for detection of chronic Helicobacter infection in rhesus monkeys. Segregation of newborn animals within the first 24 h of life was a reliable method to obtain pathogen-free rhesus monkeys.

Conclusion: Isolation of specific-pathogen-free animals, together with better detection methods, may improve the value of the rhesus monkey model for the study of H. pylori pathogenesis, immune response, and vaccine development.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medical Microbiology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616 2: California Regional Primate Research Center 3: Departments of Medicine and Health Research and Policy, Stanford University Medical School

Publication date: 1999-04-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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