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Lab Anim Sci. 1993 Dec;43(6):541-4.

Infrequent shedding and transmission of herpesvirus simiae from seropositive macaques.

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Section of Comparative Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8016.


The epizootiologic properties of Herpesvirus simiae (B virus) were studied in singly housed macaques (Macaca mulatta and M. fascicularis) in a biomedical vivarium to determine whether commonly encountered environments and procedures such as quarantine, breeding, Caesarean section, parturition, and social stress induced virus shedding and transmission. Macaques were tested serologically and for infectious virus. Oral, conjunctival, and vaginal swab samples were obtained repeatedly. Virus excretion was not detected during a 7-week quarantine of 32 newly acquired, singly housed animals tested every other week for 6 weeks, and none of 19 seronegative animals from this group seroconverted during 7 weeks in quarantine. No virus shedding was detected in 16 seropositive animals tested weekly for 3 weeks after Caesarean section or normal parturition or in 11 seropositive animals following introduction of new males to animals rooms. One animal seroconverted after repeated breeding of seropositive animals to seronegative partners. Fifty-three singly housed offspring remained seronegative for up to 10 years, even if born to seropositive dams, and only 1 of 86 singly housed animals less than 7 years old was seropositive. These results suggest that shedding of B virus from seropositive macaques is uncommon, when subjected to common laboratory procedures or environments, and that transmission is rare in singly housed animals. These results may be useful in establishing B virus-free colonies of macaques.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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