196. Identification of a Novel Adenovirus Associated with a Deadly Outbreak in a Titi Monkey Colony
Session: Abstracts: Oral Abstract Session: Virology
Friday, October 22, 2010: 11:00 AM

Adenoviruses are DNA viruses that cause a broad spectrum of diseases in humans, including respiratory tract infections, gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis, and hepatitis.  Infection from adenoviruses  is thought to be highly species-specific.


The Virochip, a DNA microarray designed to detect all known and novel viruses on the basis of conserved sequence homology, was used to investigate the cause of an outbreak among a group of Titi monkeys at the California National Primate Research Center in Davis, California.  Affected monkeys first developed upper respiratory symptoms that rapidly progressed into severe pneumonia and hepatitis.  Of the 60 monkeys housed at the center, 23 monkeys became extremely ill and ultimately 19 died (83% mortality rate) despite aggressive medical treatment.  Necropsies of lung and liver tissue revealed acute destruction of the parenchyma; histological examination revealed the presence of intranuclear inclusions.  Routine microbiological testing was negative.  


Tissue and swab samples from infected animals revealed the signature of an adenovirus on Virochip.  Sequencing of the nearly complete 35k genome revealed that the adenovirus was divergent and a member of a new group, sharing only 80-85% overall nucleotide identity with its closest relatives.  The adenovirus was culturable on both human A549 and monkey BSC-1 and RMK cells, but grew best in human A549 cell lines.  Serological analysis by virus neutralization revealed strong antibody responses in affected monkeys who survived the outbreak but not in negative controls.  An investigator at the center in close contact with the Titi monkeys developed a severe pneumonia at the onset of the outbreak.  Her convalescent serum collected 6 months later was seropositive for the adenovirus, strongly implicating a cross-species transmission event.


A novel adenovirus was identified as the cause of a deadly outbreak of pneumonia and hepatitis in a Titi monkey colony, and also appeared to have infected a human.  To our knowledge, this is the first example of a cross-species transmission event from adenovirus infection.  Further studies are ongoing to establish whether the virus is of simian or human origin.

Subject Category: V. Virology including clinical and basic studies of viral infections, including hepatitis

Eunice Chen, BS, /, MS , Laboratory Medicine and Medicine / Infectious Diseases, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Shigeo Yagi, Ph.D. , California Department of Public Health, Richmond, CA
Karen Bales, PhD , University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Nicole Maninger, Ph.D. , University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
David Schnurr, Ph.D. , California Department of Public Health, Richmond, CA
Nicholas W. Lerche, DVM, /, MPVM , California National Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Charles Y. Chiu, M.D./Ph.D. , Laboratory Medicine and Medicine / Infectious Diseases, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA


E. Chen, None

S. Yagi, None

K. Bales, None

N. Maninger, None

D. Schnurr, None

N. W. Lerche, None

C. Y. Chiu, None

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