Nonhuman primates and humans have a high degree of biological similarity in their neurology, immunology, reproduction and development. They provide scientists and physicians with irreplaceable opportunities to understand, treat and prevent human diseases and disorders.

The NPRCs maintain colonies of Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) animals, many of which are MHC typed and genetically characterized. The term SPF is defined as animals free of specified pathogens according to species. For example, the basic first level SPF rhesus macaques are antibody and/or virus negative for herpes B virus (McHV1), simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), Type D simian retrovirus (SRV); and simian T-lymphotropic virus (STLV-1). A number of centers also maintain expanded SPF colonies that are free of other specific viral agents in addition to the four listed above. These animals are available to support AIDS and other infectious disease-related research.

Critical Role of Nonhuman Primates in Scientific and Medical Research