Outline Rationale for the Health Canada sfv study Trends in primate importation/utilization

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  • Rationale for the Health Canada SFV Study

  • Trends in primate importation/utilization

  • Description of Health Canada Animal Resources Division primate colony

  • Results of Health Canada Study of Human SFV Infection Among Animal Workers


  • Macaque spp. have historically been among the most common NHP’s used in research

  • Currently cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) represent the vast majority of imported NHP’s

  • Despite frequent occupational exposure there had not been a documented case of human SFV infection originating from macaques

Last 2 years importation of NHP in U.S.A. (1999, N = 12,744; 2000, N = 12,061)

Species of NHP used in Canada (1995 - 1999)

Study Objective

  • To screen for human SFV infection of macaque origin using assays optimized for macaque SFV

Health Canada Primate Colony

  • 875 Cynomolgus macaques imported from the Philippines 1983-1984

  • Currently houses approximately 240 monkeys

  • Previously housed up to 1200 monkeys

  • Prior to 1983 a mixture of cynomolgus and rhesus macaques

  • Herpes B free colony

  • 80% seropositive for SFV

Average Monthly NHP Colony Population by Year

Study Design

  • Anonymous, un-linked convenience sample of workers having contact with non-human primates or their blood and tissues

  • Screened using immunoblot

  • Target antigen SFV1, SFV3, SFV6 & SFV-HC infected cell culture lysates

  • Confirmation using PCR amplification from PBLs of a 153 bp fragment located within the pol gene

Occupations of Study Participants

Characteristics of Study Participants

Person Years of Exposure to NHP Species

Exposure Patterns

Total Number of Bites Reported By Species

Results of SFV Study

  • 2 out of the 46 participants have positive serological tests for foamy virus infection (4% of study participants)

  • 1 of the 46 participants has been confirmed as infected with SFV by PCR from PBLs

  • Preliminary evidence suggests that this human SFV infection is of macaque origin

Exposure Histories of SFV Infected Humans

  • Both individuals report :

    • prolonged and ongoing exposure to cynomolgus macaques
    • previous exposure to rhesus macaques
    • events involving exposure to blood and/or body fluids, including bites, scratches or surgical injuries, from macaque species

Pattern of Blood Donation

  • 3% of eligible Canadians donate blood on a regular basis (Canadian Blood Services)

  • 54% (25/46)of study participants reported at least one donation of blood or blood products ever.

  • 88% (22/25) of Animal workers that reported blood donation also reported bites by NHP’s


  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research

  • Canadian Blood Services

  • Health Canada, CIDPC, PPHB

  • Dr. Paul Gully

  • Health Canada, HPFB

  • Dr. Jocelyn Fournier

  • University of Ottawa

  • Dr Francisco Diaz-Mitoma

  • Esoterix Inc.

  • Dr. Richard Heberling

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