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Lab Anim Sci. 1979 Feb;29(1):53-60.

Isolation of a cytomegalovirus from salivary glands of white-lipped marmosets (Saguinus fuscicollis).


Minced salivary glands from seven white-lipped marmosets (Saguinus fuscicollis and Saguinus nigricollis) and one cotton-topped marmoset (Saguinus oedipus) were cocultivated with marmoset cell cultures. A viral agent, designated SSG, was isolated from two Saguinus fuscicollis. Slowly progressing foci of rounded, vacuolated, refractile cells were first observed at 40-43 days incubation. Electron microscopy revealed intranuclear herpesvirus nucleocapsids and intracytoplasmic and extracellular enveloped particles. Infected cells stained with hematoxylin and eosin contained eosinophilic intranuclear and cytoplasmic inclusion bodies. SSG could be passaged in cell cultures only using viable whole cells; infectious cell-free virus was not detected in either culture supernatants or cell lysates. SSG replicated in marmoset fibroblastic but not in marmoset epithelioid or human fibroblastic cell cultures. Plasma antibodies to SSG were detected by indirect immunofluorescence assays in 16 of 56 (28.6%) adult wild-caught marmosets but were absent in 40 colony-born, hand-reared marmosets. Antigenic cross-reactivity of SSG with a rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) cytomegalovirus (bidirectional) and with a human cytomegalovirus (unidirectional) was also demonstrated by indirect immunofluorescence assays. SSG was identified as a herpesvirus by morphology and was classified as a cytomegalovirus by its site of isolation, biologic properties in vitro, and antigenic characteristics.

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