Johns Hopkins University (SPF Program)

Development of a Specific-Pathogen-Free Macaca nemestrina breeding colony

Grant Number: U42 OD013117

Research Emphasis/Objectives

The specific-pathogen-free pigtail macaque (Macaca nemestrina) breeding colony at the Johns Hopkins University serves as a national resource for this species. Pigtail macaques are used in several research fields, including HIV/AIDS, neuroscience, immunology, teratology, behavioral sciences, psychophysics, ophthalmology, drug abuse, xenotransplantation, and reproductive system function, among others.

The aims of this resource are to develop and expand a colony of pigtail macaques that are free of specific pathogens (herpes B virus, simian retrovirus, simian T-lymphotrophic virus, and simian immunodeficiency virus [SIV]) and which have complete pedigrees and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) profiles.

The primary research use for these animals is the study of the pathogenesis of SIV, primarily in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Johns Hopkins’ scientists have developed an alternate method to track SIV-induced nerve fiber loss by measuring small nerve density in the sub-basal plexus of the cornea. Initial studies showed that corneal nerve fiber loss corresponds closely with loss of epidermal nerve fibers in SIV-infected animals.

The colony currently consists of 200 animals divided into single-male breeding harems. Annual production is approximately 40 infants per year. The ultimate goal is to produce 100 offspring per year.

Services Provided

Up to 50% of male offspring may be available for a fee to NIH-funded investigators outside Johns Hopkins University. Blood samples and selected formalin fixed tissues may be also provided.

Contact Information/Principal Investigator

Robert J. Adams, D.V.M.
Research Animal Resources
Ross Research 459
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD 21205
Phone: 410-955-3273

Last updated: 11-11-2021