Several rotavirus candidate vaccines have been developed and are at various stages of evaluation. In order to assess the safety and efficacy of these candidate vaccines, an appropriate non-human primate model is desirable. In earlier studies, we reported the presence of naturally occurring anti-rotavirus antibodies in monkeys and demonstrated that parenteral vaccination of baboons led to production of specific rotavirus antibodies in their milk. In the present study, we assessed the possibility of developing the baboon and the vervet monkey as an animal model for rotavirus studies by inoculating them with a pathogenic human rotavirus isolate prepared from the fresh faeces obtained from a child suffering from rotavirus diarrhoea. Preliminary studies have showed excretion of rotavirus in the faeces of 5 of 5 vervets monkeys and 1 of 2 baboons, by antigen ELISA and SDS-PAGE. These results were confirmed by RT-PCR and electron microscopy. The animals also showed elevation of IgG and high titres of virus neutralising antibodies. These data indicate that baboon and vervet monkeys may be useful models for human rotavirus infection and for pre-clinical evaluation of rotavirus candidate vaccines.
- Experimental inoculation
- Monkey model