Herpesvirus saimiri was isolated from 22 squirrel monkeys by cocultivation of peripheral lymphocytes with permissive owl monkey kidney monolayer cells. Comparison of virion DNA fragments produced from restriction endonuclease digestion was used as a sensitive measure of strain variability. Although all isolates contained similarities and common features, 19 of the 22 were readily distinguished. Three of the isolates, however, were indistinguishable and possibly were related epidemiologically. Distinct subtypes of H. saimiri were not evident by these criteria; Peruvian, Colombian, Guyanan, and Bolivian squirrel monkeys yielded isolates without characteristic features peculiar to the geographic region. Three of three colony-born squirrel monkeys that were tested yielded a strain of virus distinct from that obtained from the mother. In separate experiments, two of three animals chosen at random yielded a strain of virus different from that originally obtained 16 and 22 months previously; only one of the three animals examined yielded the same strain of virus 22 months after the original isolation. The degree of restriction endonuclease fragment variability among H. saimiri strains appeared to be greater than previously observed for other herpesviruses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science