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Infection of Squirrel Monkeys with Nipah Virus | CDC EID
EID Journal Home > Volume 16, Number 3–March 2010
Volume 16, Number 3–March 2010 Dispatch Experimental Infection of Squirrel Monkeys with Nipah Virus Philippe Marianneau,1 Vanessa Guillaume,1 K. Thong Wong, Munisamy Badmanathan, Ren Yih Looi, Séverine Murri, Philippe Loth, Noël Tordo, T. Fabian Wild, Branka Horvat, and Hugues Contamin Author affiliations: Institut Pasteur, Lyon, France (P. Marianneau, S. Murri, P. Loth, N. Tordo, H. Contamin); Institut national de santé et de la recherché médicale, Lyon (V. Guillaume, T.F. Wild, B. Horvat); and University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (K.T. Wong, M. Badmanathan, R.Y. Looi)
Suggested citation for this article
Abstract We infected squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) with Nipah virus to determine the monkeys' suitability for use as primate models in preclinical testing of preventive and therapeutic treatments. Infection of squirrel monkeys through intravenous injection was followed by high death rates associated with acute neurologic and respiratory illness and viral RNA and antigen production.
Nipah virus (NiV) is a highly pathogenic zoonotic paramyxovirus that was first identified in Malaysia and Singapore in 1999 (1). Since the initial outbreak, NiV has been associated with human illness in Bangladesh and India (2) and was classified, together with the closely related Hendra virus, in the genus Henipavirus. Reported human death rates varied from 40%–92% (3), and some outbreaks were associated with human-to-human transmission (4). Most human infections led to encephalitis with vasculitis-induced thrombosis in the brain and atypical pneumonia in certain patients (5,6). Because of the lack of efficient treatment or a vaccine for Nipah virus and the high pathogenicity of the virus in humans, the manipulation of NiV requires BioSafety Level 4 (BSL-4) conditions.
Several species of fruit bats of the genus Pteropus are considered natural reservoirs of henipaviruses, although the disease does not develop in them (7). Pigs were responsible for amplifying the NiV infection in Malaysia, but their death rate was only 10%–15%. Laboratory infection of piglets caused development of neurologic signs in some animals, and NiV was detected in different tissues (8). Hamsters in laboratory studies are highly susceptible to NiV, and infection develops in multiple organs, including the brain (9). Cats infected with NiV in the laboratory reproduce the disease observed in naturally infected cats, including a severe respiratory and systemic disease, 6–13 days after infection (10). However, to our knowledge, a primate model necessary for preclinical testing of preventive and therapeutic approaches has not been described. We therefore assessed the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) as an experimental model of NiV infection.
Suggested Citation for this Article Marianneau P, Guillaume V, Wong KT, Badmanathan M, Looi RY, Murri S, et al. Experimental infection of squirrel monkeys with Nipah virus. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2010 March [date cited]. http://www.cdc.gov/EID/content/16/3/507.htm DOI: 10.3201/eid1603.091346
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