Experimental infection of rhesus and pig-tailed macaques with macaque rhadinoviruses

Keith G. Mansfield, Susan V. Westmoreland, Colin D. DeBakker, Susan Czajak, Andrew A. Lackner, Ronald C. Desrosiers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


The recognition of naturally occurring rhadinoviruses in macaque monkeys has spurred interest in their use as models for human infection with Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (human herpesvirus 8). Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) were inoculated intravenously with rhadinovirus isolates derived from these species (rhesus rhadinovirus [RRV] and pig-tailed rhadinovirus [PRV]). Nine rhadinovirus antibody-negative and two rhadinovirus antibody-positive monkeys were used for these experimental inoculations. Antibody-negative animals clearly became infected following virus inoculation since they developed persisting antibody responses to virus and virus was isolated from peripheral blood on repeated occasions following inoculation. Viral sequences were also detected by PCR in lymph node, oral mucosa, skin, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells following inoculation. Experimentally infected animals developed peripheral lymphadenopathy which resolved by 12 weeks following inoculation, and these animals have subsequently remained free of disease. No increased pathogenicity was apparent from cross-species infection, i.e., inoculation of rhesus macaques with PRV or of pig-tailed macaques with RRV, whether the animals were antibody positive or negative at the time of virus inoculation. Coinoculation of additional rhesus monkeys with simian immunodeficiency virus (SLY) isolate SIVmac251 and macaque-derived rhadinovirus resulted in an attenuated antibody response to both agents and shorter mean survival compared to SIVmac251-inoculated controls (155.5 days versus 560.1 days; P < 0.019). Coinfected and immunodeficient macaques died of a variety of opportunistic infections characteristic of simian AIDS. PCR analysis of sorted peripheral blood mononuclear cells indicated a preferential tropism of RRV for CD20+ B lymphocytes. Our results demonstrate persistent infection of macaque monkeys with RRV and PRV following experimental inoculation, but no specific disease was readily apparent from these infections even in the context of concurrent SIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10320-10328
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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