The pathology of 33 moustached tamarins (Saguinus mystax) previously used in hepatitis A and GB virus studies is reported. Chronic lesions in colon, heart, and kidney were common in the monkeys and appeared not to be due to the experimental exposures. Colitis cystica profunda (CCP), a disease that affects humans and is characterized by the presence of mucin-filled epithelial downgrowths and cysts in the colonic submucosa, was found in 24 of the 33 (72.7%) tamarins. Interstitial myocardial fibrosis was present in 22 (66.6%) animals, and various degrees of membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis occurred in 28 (84.8%) monkeys. In addition, 28 (84.8%) tamarins demonstrated diffuse hepatocellular vacuolation with mild lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates, possibly as a result of the experimental infections, and peliosis hepatis occurred in 7 (21.2%) animals. The etiology of CCP is unknown, and no reliable animal models are available because most cases in animals are reported only sporadically. Myocardial fibrosis in tamarins has not been reported previously, and all current animal models require experimental manipulation of the animal to mimic the human disease. The results from this study suggest that captive S. mystax has high incidence of spontaneous CCP, myocardial fibrosis, and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis. This species may be a spontaneous animal model for pathogenesis and experimental therapy studies of the analogous human diseases.
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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