Replication of SARS coronavirus administered into the respiratory tract of African Green, rhesus and cynomolgus monkeys

Virology. 2004 Dec 5;330(1):8-15. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2004.09.030.


SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) administered intranasally and intratracheally to rhesus, cynomolgus and African Green monkeys (AGM) replicated in the respiratory tract but did not induce illness. The titer of serum neutralizing antibodies correlated with the level of virus replication in the respiratory tract (AGM>cynomolgus>rhesus). Moderate to high titers of SARS-CoV with associated interstitial pneumonitis were detected in the lungs of AGMs on day 2 and were resolving by day 4 post-infection. Following challenge of AGMs 2 months later, virus replication was highly restricted and there was no evidence of enhanced disease. These species will be useful for the evaluation of the immunogenicity of candidate vaccines, but the lack of apparent clinical illness in all three species, variability from animal to animal in level of viral replication, and rapid clearance of virus and pneumonitis in AGMs must be taken into account by investigators considering the use of these species in efficacy and challenge studies.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Bronchi / virology
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Respiratory Mucosa / virology
  • Respiratory System / virology*
  • SARS Virus / isolation & purification
  • SARS Virus / physiology*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / pathology
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / virology*
  • Virus Replication / physiology*


  • Antigens, Viral