The pathology of an epizootic of acquired immunodeficiency in rhesus macaques

K. G. Osborn, S. Prahalada, Linda J Lowenstine, M. B. Gardner, D. H. Maul, R. V. Henrickson

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48 Scopus citations


A syndrome of acquired immunodeficiency within a group of outdoor-housed rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) with unusally high mortality has been identified at the California Primate Research Center. The cause of death for most of the affected animals included septicemia and/or chronic diarrhea with wasting, often complicated by other problems. In many cases, multiple or unusual infectious agents were isolated or recognized, including cytomegalovirus, Cryptospridium spp., and Candida albicans. Septicemia due to usually innocuous agents such as Staphylococcus epidermidis and Alcaligenes faecalis were seen. Two animals developed cutaneous fibrosarcoma. Affected animals had generalized lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly, with depletion of T-cell populations, initial follicular hyperplasia followed by depletion, and absence of plasma cells. This spontaneous disease syndrome in nonhuman primates has similarities to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in humans, providing an animal model for the study of the complex factors modulating the immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-103
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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