Cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) were experimentally infected with Puumala virus (strain Hallnas), which causes nephropathia epidemica in humans in western Europe. During the first week after intratracheal inoculation, the monkeys exhibited signs of lethargy followed by mild proteinuria and microhematuria. Histopathologic changes during the first 7 weeks after infection were largely confined to abnormalities in medullary tubular cells of the kidneys, which coincided with the demonstration of viral antigen and viral RNA. The development of different classes of virus-specific plasma antibodies to the respective viral antigens were similar to those observed in humans with nephropathia epidemica. This first description of a nonhuman primate model for hantavirus infection shows that the cynomolgus macaque provides a suitable model with which to study the pathogenesis of Puumala virus infections and to evaluate new diagnostic methods, immunization strategies, and therapies.

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The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Groen, J., Gerding, M. N., Koeman, J. P., Roholl, P., van Amerongen, G., Jordans, H. G. M., … Niesters, B. (1995). A macaque model for hantavirus infection. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 172, 38–44. Retrieved from