Scientific discovery and advances in technology drive the development of new tools for Pathogen Detection. These tools enable us to enhance the management of nonhuman primate colonies and improve the quality of the nonhuman primate model for biomedical research. Some highlights are listed below. Please contact the individual centers for more information.

  • The California NPRC is developing a new assay to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) complex infections of nonhuman primates. The assay uses commercially available antigens to elicit a specific cell mediated immune response that is measured by gamma-interferon release. An initial evaluation using blood samples from Rhesus macaques experimentally infected with MTB by researchers at the Oregon NPRC successfully distinguished uninfected from infected animals. A joint report has been submitted for publication and the CNPRC lab is accepting samples for limited testing.
  • The Washington, Southwest, and Tulane NPRCs have been evaluating reagents and developing protocols to test for Trypaonsoma cruzi, the pathogen which can cause Chagas disease or American trypanosomiasis. T. cruzi infection has been found in macaques, chimpanzees, and baboons. Although not always noted clinically, parasitemia, leukocytosis and lymphocystosis, and antibody reactivity may develop during acute infection. During the chronic phase (often years later), cardiac abnormalities develop in a percentage of the infected nonhuman primates. Triatomine bugs found below 40No latitude and below 1500’ elevation have been implicated as transmission vectors.