Experimental infection of cynomolgus monkeys with simian parvovirus

M. Gerard O'Sullivan, Deborah K. Anderson, James A. Goodrich, Hermina Tulli, Spencer W. Green, Neal S. Young, Kevin E. Brown

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44 Scopus citations


Simian parvovirus is a recently discovered parvovirus that was first isolated from cynomolgus monkeys. It is similar to human B19 parvovirus in terms of virus genome, tropism for erythroid cells, and characteristic pathology in natural infections. Cynomolgus monkeys were infected with simian parvovirus to investigate their potential usefulness as an animal model of human B19 parvovirus. Six adult female cynomolgus monkeys were inoculated with purified simian parvovirus by the intravenous or intranasal route and monitored for evidence of clinical abnormalities; this included the preparation of complete hematological profiles. Viremia and simian parvovirus-specific antibody were determined in infected monkeys by dot blot and Western blot assays, respectively. Bone marrow was examined at necropsy 6, 10, or 15 days postinfection. All of the monkeys developed a smoldering, low-grade viremia that peaked approximately 10 to 12 days after inoculation. Peak viremia coincided with the appearance of specific antibody and was followed by sudden clearance of the virus and complete, but transient, absence of reticulocytes from the peripheral blood. Clinical signs were mild and involved mainly anorexia and slight weight loss. Infection was associated with a mild decrease in hemoglobin, hematocrit, and erythrocyte numbers. Bone marrow showed marked destruction of erythroid cells coincident with peak viremia. Our findings indicate that infection of healthy monkeys by simian parvovirus is self-limited and mild, with transient cessation of erythropoiesis. Our study has reproduced Koch's postulates and further shown that simian parvovirus infection of monkeys is almost identical to human B19 parvovirus infection of humans. Accordingly, this animal model may prove valuable in the study of the pathogenesis of B19 virus infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4517-4521
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1997
Externally publishedYes


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