Characterization of Baboon Cytomegalovirus Infection in Healthy Adult Baboons ( Papio anubis)

Comp Med. 2019 Feb 1;69(1):55-62. doi: 10.30802/AALAS-CM-18-000050. Epub 2019 Jan 31.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common chronic herpesvirus found in humans and numerous other mammalian species. In people, chronic viruses like CMV can alter overall health and immunity and pose a serious risk for those with an inadequate immune system. In addition, CMV plays an important role in animal health, and could affect the health of vulnerable populations, like endangered species. Previous studies found a high rate of CMV seropositivity among adult baboons (Papio anubis), and results from our laboratory revealed that baboon CMV (BaCMV) seropositivity was correlated with altered immune cell populations. In the current study, we further characterized BaCMV infection in normal, adult baboons. Analysis of blood samples from baboons (age, 6 to 26 y) revealed a low overall prevalence of detectable of BaCMV DNA, with a higher detection rate in aged baboons (older than 15 y). Furthermore, data suggest that individual baboons maintain similar rates of recurrence and levels of BaCMV shedding in saliva over time. Finally, we evaluated multiple commercially available assays for antihuman CMV IgG and IgM for use with baboon sera. Results of this study will improve our understanding of BaCMV and may be directly relevant to other closely related species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / blood
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / immunology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / pathology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / veterinary*
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Monkey Diseases / blood
  • Monkey Diseases / immunology
  • Monkey Diseases / pathology*
  • Papio anubis*
  • Saliva / virology
  • Virus Shedding


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • DNA, Viral