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Open Access Detection of a Unique Genotype of Monkey B Virus (Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1) Indigenous to Native Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata)

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The Japanese macaque or snow monkey (Macaca fuscata) is an autochthonous monkey in Japan. It has long been assumed that the monkey population was not infected with Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1 (monkey B virus [BV]) since cases of human BV infection have never been reported in Japan. Although serologic testing of captive snow monkeys in Japan revealed antibodies to BV, it was thought that native Japanese macaques had either been infected with herpes simplex virus from humans or with BV from other imported macaque species. To clarify this issue, we performed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis to amplify BV sequences from trigeminal ganglia of 30 Japanese macaque monkeys that were seropositive for BV. Sequences from two BV genes, UL27 (360 bp) and UL19 (1.0 Kbp), from 3 of 30 monkeys were amplified. Results of restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and DNA sequencing of the fragments provided evidence that native Japanese macaques are infected with BV. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that these monkeys harbor their own genotype of BV that is different from other known BV genotypes, and provided additional evidence supporting the co-evolution of BV and macaques.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory Animal Center for Biomedical Research, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, 1-12-4 Sakamoto, Nagasaki 852-8523, Japan 2: Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078-2007 3: Research Center for Animal Life Science, Shiga University of Medical Science, Ohtsu, Shiga 520-2192, Japan

Publication date: 01 December 2002

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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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