Rotavirus is associated with decompensated diarrhea among young rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

Kuo Yang Wang, Kari L. Christe, Jo Ann Yee, Jeffrey A Roberts, Amir Ardeshir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Diarrhea with secondary decompensation is the main cause of morbidity and mortality in captive young rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) colonies. Approximately 25% of diarrhea cases with secondary decompensation are considered to be idiopathic chronic diarrhea. The purpose of this study was to investigate the suspected but not systematically examined association between rotavirus infection and diarrhea with secondary decompensation among young rhesus macaques at the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC). Blood and stool samples were collected from 89 randomly selected young animals (age range: 6 months to 1.5 years) and were tested for the presence of rotavirus antibody, and rotavirus antigen, respectively, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA's). Test and clinical data were analyzed using Fisher's exact tests and multivariate logistic regression model. Our analysis indicates that rotavirus is endemic among young outdoor-housed rhesus macaques at the CNPRC. Although the relationship between detectable rotavirus antigen in stool and symptomatic diarrhea with secondary decompensation was not significant, there was a significant association between rotavirus seropositivity and a history of diarrhea with secondary decompensation within the past 6 months. While our cross-sectional and case-control study suggests an association between rotavirus infection and diarrhea with secondary decompensation among captive rhesus macaques, more extensive longitudinal studies on larger cohorts and with more intensive sample collection are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22948
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • colony management
  • enterocolitis
  • gastroenteritis
  • ICD
  • idiopathich chronic diarrhea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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