The Colony Health Diagnostic Laboratory (CHDL) regularly monitors all Washington National Primate Research Center nonhuman primates to maintain and enhance the overall health of the colony and ensure research suitability of our macaques and baboons. The monitoring also serves as the basis for segregating nonhuman primates into stratified Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) colony levels. As an integral part of colony health management, the Diagnostic Laboratory determines the virus status of all colony animals. This status is primarily used to Specific Pathogen Free-group, Specific Pathogen Free-regroup, or exclude animals from the colony. Nonhuman primates are routinely screened for antiviral antibodies to:

  • Type D simian retrovirus
  • Simian T cell leukemia virus
  • Cercopithicine herpesvirus 1
  • Simian immunodeficiency virus
  • Simian foamy virus

Specific Pathogen Free Colonies The Washington National Primate Research Center has taken a proactive position for many years on eliminating specific pathogens from the entire colony and from specific subgroups within the colony. This has been facilitated by committing necessary resources for screening programs and comprehensive animal husbandry practices. These efforts were historically focused on Mycobacterium tuberculosis and a type of Simian Retrovirus but more recently the Diagnostic Laboratory has expanded the effort to included Cercopithicine herpesvirus 1 and simian T cell leukemia virus. Most recently, the Diagnostic Laboratory has initiated a screening protocol to determine the prevalence of virus simian foamy virus and Simian Varicella virus. A program of routine screening and animal segregation has set the stage for the development of specific pathogen free subdivisions within the Washington National Primate Research Center colony. Continuation of these “screen-and-separate” protocols has become an integral part of our overall colony health plan. We are adopting a multi-tiered SPF colony plan where all animals will be classified as:

  • Type D simian retrovirus -free (SPF-1)
  • Type D simian retrovirus- and simian T cell leukemia virus -free (SPF-2)
  • Type D simian retrovirus- and simian T cell leukemia virus- and Cercopithicine herpesvirus 1-free (SPF-3)
  • Type D simian retrovirus- and simian T cell leukemia virus and Cercopithicine herpesvirus 1-and simian foamy Virus-free (SPF-4)