The baboon has long been used in biomedical research and, for certain applications, has considerable advantages over other primate species. As is well appreciated for macaques, viruses constituting the normal flora of research animals can have a considerable effect on research results and their validity. Baboons are known to harbor analogs of many of the herpesviruses and retroviruses known to infect humans and other primates. Despite many years of successful breeding of baboons by various institutions, the nascent SPF baboon program at OUHSC is the only one of its kind in the world. The overall goal of this program is to develop an active, self-supporting breeding colony of baboons that are free of all five known baboon herpesviruses, four retroviruses, SV40, measles and monkeypox and that are available primarily to support NIH- funded biomedical research programs throughout the US. To accomplish this goal we propose the following specific aims:1. Continue derivation and expansion of the SPF colony. Approximately 25 new infants will be recruited into the SPF program each year. During the requested funding period, initial recruits will reach breeding age and the SPF colony should begin to experience """"""""internal additions"""""""" via infants born to SPF animals. 2. Improve the """"""""behavioral health"""""""" of infants in the SPF program. Protocols for hand-rearing of infants will be progressively modified with professional guidance to improve the overall behavioral health of baboons in the SPF colony as they grow and mature. 3. Establish multi-aged breeding groups of SPF baboons in a new indoor/outdoor corral facility. When the new facility currently under construction is completed, SPF animals will be moved into it to form several breeding groups consisting of animals of varied ages. 4. Provide SPF baboons to NIH-funded researchers. We are now saving back a limited number of SPF infant males to support the critical needs of the NHLBI/NIH and a few other NIH supported research programs that have critical need for SPF baboons. As the colony begins to mature to breeding status, excess males will be made available to the research community for use in NIH-supported biomedical research programs. Animals culled from the program due to sero-conversion to one virus will also be made available for use in research on projects that can use baboons with the specific virus that triggered the culling of the individual baboon. 5. Establish PCR assays for select viruses to analyze breaks in SPF status due to these viruses. CMV and HVP1 have been responsible for the majority of infants culled from the SPF program. In order to identify infants infected with these viruses before maternal antibodies wane, we will develop PCR tests that can detect infected infants.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
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National Center for Research Resources Initial Review Group (RIRG)
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Harding, John D
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University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
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