A 2.5-year epidemiologic study of a breeding group of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta), which is a focus of endemic simian acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (SAIDS), demonstrated a strong association between the occurrence of SAIDS and infection with a type D retrovirus, SAIDS retrovirus serotype 1 (SRV-1). Of 23 healthy 'tracer' juvenile rhesus monkeys, 19 (83%) died with SAIDS within 9 months of introduction into the resident SAIDS-endemic population. In contrast, 21 healthy 'sentinel' juvenile rhesus monkeys placed in the same outdoor enclosure but denied physical contact with the SAIDS-affected group by a 10-foot-wide 'buffer zone' remained free of SRV-1, SRV-1 antibody, and disease for 2.5 years. The SAIDS-specific mortality rate was significantly higher in juveniles than in adults. In repeated serologic testing, the overall prevalence of SRV-1 antibody ranged from 68 to 85%. Antibody prevalence increased with age. Seroconversion was found to be a poor indicator of infection rate, as approximately 50% of virus-positive juvenile monkeys had no antibody detectable by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Repeated viral isolations from all animals revealed 1) SRV-1 viremia with clinical SAIDS; 2) persistent viremia and viral shedding in apparently healthy animals; 3) transient viremia and clinical recovery; 4) intermittent viremia, suggesting activation of latent infections; and 5) viremia in a 1-day-old infant, suggesting transplacental transmission. The prevalence of SRV-1 antibody in SAIDS-free breeding groups of rhesus monkeys was 4%. The seroprevalence of antibodies against human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV; formerly STLV-III) was uniformly low or absent in both SAIDS-free and SAIDS-affected groups of rhesus monkeys, demonstrating that these retroviruses are not etiologically linked to SAIDS at the California Primate Research Center.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Journal of the National Cancer Institute|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - 1987|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research