The mission of the OUHSC Baboon Research Resource is to provide resources that support biomedical and behavioral research requiring the baboon as the animal model. A vital part of this mission is the production of Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) baboons. Unique in the world, the OUHSC SPF baboon program is poised to provide an indispensable nonhuman primate resource for biomedical research. The goal of this program is to complete development of an active, self-supporting breeding colony of baboons that are free of all five known baboon herpes viruses, four retroviruses, as well as a number of additional viruses and parasites. The developing program is already providing some SPF baboons to NIH-funded biomedical research programs, but cannot meet the demand for these unique animals. To complete development of this national resource we will recruit an additional 150 infants over five years into the SPF program. The genetic diversity of the colony will be assessed and monitored to maximize its genetic diversity. During this final phase of colony development, we will continue to provide 20-30 SPF baboons per year to NIH-funded research programs. To keep the colony outbred genetic testing will be performed and evaluated. Several research projects will also be supported by this program with the aim of improving the resource. The long term objective is for the SPF baboon colony to be a stable, self-sustaining breeding colony that produces ~100 SPF baboons/year for use in NIH-funded biomedical research.
Certain infectious agents can alter experimental results when they infect an animal used in research. Use of Specific Pathogen Free animals that are free of certain pathogens are preferred in biomedical research to avoid this problem. The SPF baboon program in Oklahoma is the only source for SPF baboons in the world and this grant will provide support for the development and maintenance of this colony.
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