Comparative transmission of multiple herpesviruses and simian virus 40 in a baboon breeding colony.
Little is known about the natural history of herpesviruses indigenous in baboons. Here, we describe the development of ELISAs for five herpesviruses. These assays were used to test more than 950 serum samples collected from approximately 210 infant/juvenile and 130 adult baboons in a captive breeding colony over a period of seven years. Results indicated that baboon cytomegalovirus, lymphocryptovirus, and rhadinovirus are transmitted efficiently within the colony and are acquired at an early age. Baboon alpha-herpesvirus HVP2 and polyomavirus simian virus 40 (SV40) were acquired later and by fewer juveniles than were the other three herpesviruses. More than 60% of baboons acquired HVP2 before reaching sexual maturity, indicating that oral infection of infants and juveniles, rather than sexual transmission between adults, is the predominant mode of transmission for this virus. Antibody to simian varicella virus (SVV) was found in about 40% of baboons. SVV was acquired principally by infants and juveniles; few adults seroconverted despite seronegative adults being in constant contact with infants and juveniles undergoing primary infection. Time of seroconversion was not statistically correlated to specific individual herpesviruses, suggesting that each virus is acquired as an independent infection event rather than multiple viruses being acquired at the same time. Several baboons that were delivered by cesarean section and were housed separate from, but in close proximity to, other baboons remained free of many or all viruses for several years, suggesting that, similar to human herpesviruses, baboon herpesviruses and SV40 are transmitted principally by direct contact.
Mark Payton, Jean M. d'Offay, Maria E. Prado, Darla H. Black, Gary L. White, and R Eberle. "Comparative transmission of multiple herpesviruses and simian virus 40 in a baboon breeding colony." Comparative Medicine 54.6 (2004): 695-704.