Experimental respiratory anthrax infection in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)

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Inhalational anthrax is a rare but potentially fatal infection in man. The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) was evaluated as a small non-human primate (NHP) model of inhalational anthrax infection, as an alternative to larger NHP species. The marmoset was found to be susceptible to inhalational exposure to Bacillus anthracis Ames strain. The pathophysiology of infection following inhalational exposure was similar to that previously reported in the rhesus and cynomolgus macaque and humans. The calculated LD50 for B. anthracis Ames strain in the marmoset was 1.47 × 103 colony-forming units, compared with a published LD50 of 5.5 × 104 spores in the rhesus macaque and 4.13 × 103 spores in the cynomolgus macaque. This suggests that the common marmoset is an appropriate alternative NHP and will be used for the evaluation of medical countermeasures against respiratory anthrax infection.

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