Oregon National Primate Research Center (SPF Program)

Specific-Pathogen-Free Rhesus Macaque Breeding Colony for AIDS Research

Grant Numbers: U42 OD023038, U42 OD010426

Research Emphasis/ObjectivesRhesus monkeys

The ONPRC maintains a specific-pathogen-free (SPF) Indian-origin rhesus macaque breeding colony in support of AIDS-related biomedical research. The research objectives are to (1) maintain a breeding population sufficient to supply nonhuman primates for AIDS-related research; (2) optimize the usefulness of this population for research by characterizing ancestry, parentage, and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) type; and (3) ensure the population remains SPF through state-of-the-art surveillance technologies.

Current Research

The ONPRC's SPF Indian-origin rhesus macaque breeding programs have specific female breeder populations. All adults and juveniles are free of simian immunodeficiency virus, T-lymphotrophic virus 1, type D simian retroviruses, and Macacine herpesvirus 1. Frequent microbiologic monitoring is performed to ensure SPF status. Research objectives focus on maintaining a colony of pedigreed, genetically diverse breeding adults and offspring of Indian-origin ancestry and defined MHC class I genotype. Analyses based on genetic marker and/or pedigree information are used to verify parentage, identify genetically valuable animals, and monitor genetic diversity in the colonies. The SPF definition is expanded in the U42 OD023038-supported colony to include additional viral agents that are useful as models of opportunistic infections in AIDS research or as vectors for vaccine development, such as cytomegalovirus, rhesus rhadinovirus, spumaretrovirus, and simian virus 40.

Services Provided


SPF juvenile Indian-origin rhesus macaques are available for sale to NIH grantees and other qualifying investigators for AIDS-related research. Blood samples and other tissues and body fluids obtainable using routine, noninvasive clinical procedures are available to qualifying investigators with appropriate institutional approvals for research animal use. Cost estimates for collection, packaging, and shipping are available upon request. Allocation of animals produced under this cooperative agreement is determined by the ONPRC Animal Use Committee in consultation with the ORIP program administrator to ensure equitable distribution.

Other Services

The ONPRC's resources are available to collaborative NIH grantees with appropriate animal care and use (IACUC) approval and institutional contractual agreements. Resources include veterinary clinical services, biological safety level 3 laboratory and animal containment facilities, anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, microbiology, and flow cytometry. Further information is available from the Associate Director's office.

Contact Information

Oregon National Primate Research Center
Oregon Health & Science University
505 N.W. 185th Avenue
Beaverton, OR 97006-3499

Charles Roberts, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Research
Phone: 503-346-5006

Principal Investigators

Grant No.: U42 OD023038
Principal Investigator
Michael K. Axthelm, D.V.M.
Phone: 503-346-5540

Grant No.: U42 OD010426
Principal Investigator
Gregory B. Timmel, D.V.M.
Phone: 503-346-5311

Last updated: 09-15-2021