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Open Access Simian Varicella in Old World Monkeys

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Simian varicella virus (SVV) causes a natural erythematous disease in Old World monkeys and is responsible for simian varicella epizootics that occur sporadically in facilities housing nonhuman primates. This review summarizes the biology of SVV and simian varicella as a veterinary disease of nonhuman primates. SVV is closely related to varicella–zoster virus, the causative agent of human varicella and herpes zoster. Clinical signs of simian varicella include fever, vesicular skin rash, and hepatitis. Simian varicella may range from a mild infection to a severe and life-threatening disease, and epizootics may have high morbidity and mortality rates. SVV establishes a lifelong latent infection in neural ganglia of animals in which the primary disease resolves, and the virus may reactivate later in life to cause a secondary disease corresponding to herpes zoster. Prompt diagnosis is important for control and prevention of epizootics. Antiviral treatment for simian varicella may be effective if administered early in the course of infection.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA.

Publication date: 2008-02-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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