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Open Access Development of Breeding Populations of Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta) That Are Specific Pathogen-free for Rhesus Cytomegalovirus

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Development of breeding colonies of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) that are specific pathogen-free (SPF) for rhesus cytomegalovirus (RhCMV) is relatively straightforward and requires few modifications from current SPF programs. Infants separated from the dam at or within a few days of birth and cohoused with similarly treated animals remain RhCMV seronegative indefinitely, provided they are never directly or indirectly exposed to a RhCMV-infected monkey. By systematically cohousing seronegative animals into larger social cohorts, breeding populations of animals SPF for RhCMV can be established. The additional costs involved in expanding the current definition of SPF status to include RhCMV are incremental compared with the money already being spent on existing SPF efforts. Moreover, the large increase in research opportunities available for RhCMV-free animals arguably would far exceed the development costs. Potential new areas of research and further expansion of existing research efforts involving these newly defined SPF animals would have direct implications for improvements in human health.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Comparative Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA, USA; California National Primate Research Center, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA, USA; Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA, USA.

Publication date: 2008-02-01

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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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