Low rates of transmission of SRV-2 and STLV-I to juveniles in a population ofMacaca fascicularisfacilitate establishment of specific retrovirus-free colonies

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Abstract

Background

Prevalence of simian retrovirus-2 (SRV-2) and simian T lymphotropic virus type I (STLV-I), was unknown in 337 captive cynomolgus macaques.

Methods and Results

Molecular assays identified 29% of animals as SRV-2 mono-infected, 4% of animals as STLV-I mono-infected and 9% of animals as dual-infected. Of 108 juvenile animals, 83% were SRV-2-negative and no juvenile animal was STLV-I-positive. A subsequent study of juvenile macaques over a period of 2.5 years detected no STLV-I and 10 SRV-2 infections, six of which occurred between testing and day of colony formation. The study also highlighted that an anti-SRV-2 serological response does not presuppose infection. Tissue reservoirs of latent SRV-2 were not identified in suspected SRV-2 infections.

Conclusions

Low transmissibility of the viruses present in the parental cohort and improved knowledge of the host response to SRV-2 has facilitated the creation of specific-retrovirus-free colonies of cynomolgus macaques.

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