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Simian parainfluenza PCR test for primates
primate assay data sheet

Simian parainfluenza virus (PIV5, simian virus type 5 or SV5)

Test code:
S0159 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of simian parainfluenza virus by reverse transcription coupled real time polymerase chain reaction

Simian virus 5 (SV5) is an enveloped RNA virus belonging to the genus Rubulavirus of the subfamily Paramyxovirinae of the family Paramyxoviridae, which consists of negative-strand RNA viruses that have an RNA genome of approximately 15,000 nucleotides. These viruses are large, enveloped RNA viruses occurring worldwide in animals and humans, and are associated with local, usually subclinical, infections of the respiratory tract. Four distinct serological parainfluenza types have been reported and SV5 is classified as a type 2 parainfluenzavirus. Parainfluenza Virus-5 (PIV5) is the name recently adopted by virologists for this virus. Immunological studies have shown that sera from guinea pigs and Syrian hamsters, as well as humans and monkeys, frequently contain SV5 antibodies.

SV5 was first isolated from rhesus and cynomolgus monkey kidney-cell cultures and two of the original monkey isolates are referred to as WR and W3A (Hull et al., 1956; Choppin, 1964). Thus, nonhuman primates are considered to be natural hosts for the SV5 viruses. Although there are no reports showing direct isolation of SV5 from hamsters or other rodents, there is a high prevalence of SV5 antibodies among hamsters and other rodents. Artificial inoculation of hamsters with SV5 can result in detectable presence of SV5 viruses in blood, liver, kidney, brain and urine. However, the effects of SV5 infection on hamsters and other rodents are not clear. In primates, infection with the virus can lead to mild respiratory diseases.

Although PIV5 was originally isolated from cultured primary monkey cells, its natural host is the dog, in which it may cause kennel cough.  PIV5 can infect humans, monkeys,  pigs,  rodents and other mammals (Chatziandreou  et al., 2004) but no known symptoms or diseases in humans have been associated with PIV5.  Serological surveys have shown that most monkeys and apes have been exposed to one or more parainfluenza viruses in their natural habitats. Many infections result in mild or subclinical manifestations so that they are not detected.  The principal means of transmission of this virus is through aerosols, although direct contact with infected secretions is also possible.

Laboratory diagnosis was traditionally done by culture, a slow and tedious process. Hemagglutination inhibition (HAl), indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) tests, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) have also been used in the past to detect the presence of this virus. Serological diagnosis requires detection of a rise in antibody level during the convalescent stage by testing at multiple timepoints, because most animals are already seropositive due to previous exposure to various parainfluenza viruses. In addition, serology may not differentiate various parainfluenza viruses because of cross-reactivity. PCR, however, is now becoming more popular because it can provide a highly specific, sensitive and rapid means of detection of this virus.


  • Help confirm the disease causing agent
  • Help ensure that animal colonies are free of simian parainfluenzavirus
  • Early prevention of spread of this virus among a colony
  • Minimize personnel exposure to this virus
  • Safety monitoring of biological products and vaccines that derive from primates

Chatziandreou, N., Stock, N., Young, D., Andrejeva, J., Hagmaier, K., McGeoch, D.J. and Randall, R.E. (2004) Relationships and host range of human, canine, simian and porcine isolates of simian virus 5 (parainfluenza virus 5). J. Gen. Virol.  85:3007-3016.

Choppin, P. W. (1964). Multiplication of a myxovirus (SV5) with minimal cytopathic effects and without interference. Virology 23:224–233.

Hull, R. N., Minner, J. R. and Smith, J. W. (1956). New viral agents recovered from tissue cultures of monkey cells. I. Origin and properties of cytopathogenic agents SV1, SV2, SV4, SV5, SV6, SV11, SV12 and SV15. Am. J. Hyg. 63:204–215.

Specimen requirement: 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) tube, or 0.2 ml serum or plasma, or nasopharyngeal swab or 0.2 ml tracheal wash, or 0.2 ml tissue.

Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.

For all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain frozen in transit. See shipping instructions for more information.

Turnaround time: 2 business days

Methodology: Qualitative reverse transcription coupled real time PCR

Normal range: Nondetected

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