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African green monkey endogenous virus


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* * *

Genetic tests for...

A/B/AB blood type in macaques

Cynomolgus genotyping

Fetal sexing

Mamu-6 in macaques

Mamu-7 in macaques

CYP2C76 c.449TG>A
in macaques

Mu opioid receptor
in macaques

in sooty mangabeys

...and more - contact Zoologix with your genetic testing requirements

SRV PCR test
primate assay data sheet

Simian retrovirus (SRV) group D by PCR

Test codes:
P0001 - Qualitative screen for SRV serogroups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 by polymerase chain reaction
P0027 - Qualitative detection of RNA of SRV serogroups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 by reverse transcription coupled real time PCR
- Qualitative detection of SRV-1 by polymerase chain reaction
S0002 - Qualitative detection of SRV-2 by polymerase chain reaction
S0003 - Qualitative detection of SRV-3 by polymerase chain reaction
S0004 - Qualitative detection of SRV-5 by polymerase chain reaction

The type D subfamily of retroviruses is composed of five distinct but genetically related serogroups. They are found in both New World and Old World monkeys. The retroviruses found in Old World macaques (genus Macaca) are exogenous to the species and upon injection induce a fatal simian acquired immune deficiency syndrome (SAIDS).

Two serotypes of type D virus, SAIDS retrovirus types 1 and 2 (SRV-1 and SRV-2), are found in captive macaques in primate centers in the United States. In addition to SAIDS, neoplasms, retroperitoneal fibromatosis (RF) and subcutaneous fibrosarcomas (SF), have been found in macaques infected with type D retroviruses. Only SRV-2 is found in association with RF, and about 35% of SRV-2 infected macaques develop RF. SF is found in association with both serotypes, but less than 5% of infected monkeys develop SF. RF in macaques is a potential model for human disease since the lesions in macaques are similar to idiopathic RF described in humans. Thus far, RF has not been found in species other than macaque and human.

Mason–Pfizer monkey virus (MPMV) or SRV-3 is a primate retrovirus that was first detected by electron microscopy in a mammary carcinoma of a female rhesus macaque, from which it was molecularly cloned and characterized. Newborn rhesus macaques experimentally inoculated with this prototypic D-type retrovirus develop a wasting disease within a few weeks that is accompanied by opportunistic infections including pneumonia, enteritis and rashes.

SRV-4 was first characterized at the Tsukuba Primate Center in Japan and is also referred to as SRV-Tsukuba.

Serogroup 5 contains a single prototype virus, D5/RHE/OR, isolated from rhesus macaques imported to the Oregon Primate Research Center from the People's Republic of China; this isolate produces severe immunodeficiency when transmitted into juvenile rhesus macaques.

For reasons of occupational safety and animal health, as well as to improve the quality of nonhuman primates used in biomedical research, the establishment and maintenance of specific retrovirus-free breeding colonies of macaques are now high priorities. The type D group of simian retroviruses continually poses challenges to successful screening. Testing protocols for group D retroviruses include virus isolation, antibody screening, western blot and PCR. Because some SRV-infected animals lack detectable antibody or exhibit a prolonged interval between infection and seroconversion, parallel testing for both SRV antibody and SRV virus is useful.

Indeterminate immunoblot results continue to pose a problem of interpretation, and serological testing for group D retroviruses has a high false positive rate (Chen, 1992). Cross-reactivity is a major source of false positives in SRV testing by serology (Benveniste, 1993). Although a combination of serological testing and western blot can reduce but not eliminate false positives, western blots are generally too costly for use in ongoing screening and monitoring programs.

The frequency of false negatives is also unacceptably high when serological testing alone is used. It has been found that antibody levels can vary in inverse proportion to viral titres, so that clinically asymptomatic animals with very low antibody levels may actually be highly viremic (Rosenblum, 2000).

Even the combination of serology and culture results in significant false negative levels (Lerche, 1997). In contrast, PCR has been found to be highly effective for the detection of the presence of SRV. Alone or in combination with antibody testing, detection of SRV by PCR is a rapid, specific and highly sensitive technique for the development and maintenance of specific pathogen free colonies.


  • Establish diagnosis of retroviral infection
  • Rapid screening to maintain research subjects free of SRV
  • Differentiate the various subtypes of SRV
  • Safety monitoring of experimental subjects
  • Safety monitoring of biological products and vaccines that derive from primates
  • Prevent further spread of viruses by identifying affected nonhuman primates
  • Screen P0001 identifies generalized SRV diagnosis. Assays S0001, S0002, S0003 and S0004 identify the specific SRV serogroup.

Benveniste R.E., Hill R.W., Knott W.B., Tsai C.C., Kuller L., Morton W.R. (1993). Detection of serum antibodies in Ethiopian baboons that cross-react with SIV, HTLV-I, and type D retroviral antigens. J Med Primatol. 22(2-3):124-128.
Chen Z., Ben K., Tian B., Zheng Y. (1992). Serological survey of a captive macaque colony in China for antibodies to simian type D retroviruses. J Med Primatol. 21(7-8):377-380.
Lerche N.W., Cotterman R.F., Dobson M.D., Yee J.L., Rosenthal A.N., Heneine W.M. (1997). Screening for simian type-D retrovirus infection in macaques, using nested polymerase chain reaction. Lab Anim Sci. 47(3):263-268.
Rosenblum L.L., Weiss R.A., McClure M.O. (2000). Virus load and sequence variation in simian retrovirus type 2 infection. Journal of Virology 74(8):3449-3454.

Specimen requirement: 0.5 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) tube.

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

P0001, S0001, S0002, S0003 and S0004 - Qualitative PCR
P0027 - Qualitative reverse transcription coupled real time PCR

Normal range: Nondetected

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