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Open Access Experimental Infection of Baboons (Papio cynocephalus anubis) with Apathogenic and Neurovirulent Subtypes of Herpesvirus Papio 2

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Cercopithecine herpesvirus 16 (Herpesvirus papio 2; HVP2) is an α-herpesvirus of baboons (Papio spp.) that generally causes minimal to inapparent disease in the natural host species. HVP2 is very closely related genetically and antigenically to Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1 (monkey B virus; BV) of macaques, which is well known for its extreme lethality in nonmacaque species including humans. Preliminary evidence suggests that a mouse model of HVP2 would be an excellent tool for studying zoonotic BV infections. Although the pathogenicity of different BV isolates in mice spans the full range of severity from apathogenic to extremely neurovirulent, testing of multiple HVP2 isolates revealed only two distinct phenotypes in mice regardless of route of inoculation: apathogenic (HVP2ap) and highly neurovirulent (HVP2nv). For the HVP2nv mouse model to truly reflect BV infection in both its natural host and the differential pathogenicity of BV in aberrant host species, HVP2nv should not produce severe disease in its natural host. To test this, juvenile baboons were inoculated with doses of 106 or 104 plaque-forming units of HVP2ap or HVP2nv by using an oral subdermal inoculation route. Parameters followed included the appearance of lesions, shedding of infectious virus, general health, and the immune response to the infection. Regardless of the inoculum dose used, no differences were noted between the two HVP2 subtypes in baboons in any of the parameters measured. These findings further support the use of the HVP2nv mouse system as a model to elucidate and study the viral determinants associated with cross-species BV neurovirulence.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma 2: Division of Animal Resources, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Publication date: 2005-10-01

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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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