Use of specific-pathogen-free (SPF) rhesus macaques to better model oral pediatric cytomegalovirus infection

Myra G. dela Pena, Lisa Strelow, Peter A Barry, Kristina Abel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background Congenital human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection can result in lifelong neurological deficits. Seronegative pregnant woman often acquire primary HCMV from clinically asymptomatic, but HCMV-shedding children. Methods Potential age-related differences in viral and immune parameters of primary RhCMV infection were examined in an oral rhesus CMV infection model in specific pathogen free macaques. RhCMV shedding was measured by real time PCR in plasma, saliva and urine. Immune parameters, including neutralizing and binding antibodies and RhCMV-specific T cell responses, were assessed in longitudinally collected blood samples. Results The oral RhCMV infection model in infant SPF rhesus macaques demonstrated that (i) the susceptibility to oral RhCMV infection declines with age, and (ii) infant macaques shed RhCMV more persistently and at higher titers compared to adult macaques. (iii) Conclusions The oral infant RhCMV infection model appears to reflect viral pathogenesis in human HCMV-infected children. Larger studies are needed to define immune parameters associated with better control of RhCMV in adult compared to young animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Primatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Immune parameter
  • RhCMV infection
  • Shedding
  • Susceptibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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