Baboon orthoreovirus (BRV) is associated with meningoencephalomyelitis (MEM) among captive baboons. Sporadic cases of suspected BRV-induced MEM have been observed at Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) for the past 20 years but could not be confirmed due to lack of diagnostic assays. An immunohistochemistry (IHC)-based assay using an antibody against BRV fusion-associated small transmembrane protein p15 and a conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay using primers specific for BRV were developed to detect BRV in archived tissues. Sixty-eight cases of suspected BRV-induced MEM from 1989 through 2010 were tested for BRV, alphavirus, and flavivirus by IHC. Fifty-nine of 68 cases (87%) were positive for BRV by immunohistochemistry; 1 tested positive for flavivirus (but was negative for West Nile virus and St Louis encephalitis virus by real-time PCR), and 1 virus isolation (VI) positive control tested negative for BRV. Sixteen cases (9 BRV-negative and 7 BRV-positive cases, by IHC), along with VI-positive and VI-negative controls, were tested by PCR for BRV. Three (of 9) IHC-negative cases tested positive, and 3 (of 7) IHC-positive cases tested negative by PCR for BRV. Both IHC and PCR assays tested 1 VI-positive control as negative (sensitivity: 75%). This study shows that most cases of viral MEM among baboons at SNPRC are associated with BRV infection, and the BRV should be considered a differential diagnosis for nonsuppurative MEM in baboons.
- nervous system
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