West Nile Virus Infection in Nonhuman Primate Breeding Colony, Concurrent with Human Epidemic, Southern Louisiana

Marion S. Ratterree, Amelia P A Travassos da Rosa, Rudolf P. Bohm, Frank B. Cogswell, Kathrine M. Phillippi, Kevin Caillouet, Shelle Schwanberger, Robert E. Shope, Robert B. Tesh

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Abstract

During the summer of 2002, an epidemic of West Nile meningoencephalitis occurred in southern Louisiana. Following the outbreak, blood samples were collected from 1,692 captive rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta), pigtail macaques (M. nemestrina), and baboons (Papio spp.) that were permanently housed outdoors at a nonhuman primate breeding facility in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. The serum samples were examined for antibodies to West Nile virus (WNV). Overall, 36% of the captive nonhuman primates had WNV antibodies; comparison of these samples with banked serum samples from previous blood collections indicated that the animals were infected subclinically from February to August 2002. WNV activity was demonstrated in surveillance at the nonhuman primate-breeding colony and in the neighboring community during this same period. The high infection rate in this captive nonhuman primate population illustrates the intensity of WNV transmission that can occur silently in nature among other susceptible vertebrates during epidemic periods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1388-1394
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Volume9
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this

Ratterree, M. S., Travassos da Rosa, A. P. A., Bohm, R. P., Cogswell, F. B., Phillippi, K. M., Caillouet, K., Schwanberger, S., Shope, R. E., & Tesh, R. B. (2003). West Nile Virus Infection in Nonhuman Primate Breeding Colony, Concurrent with Human Epidemic, Southern Louisiana. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 9(11), 1388-1394.