Translational model of Zika virus disease in baboons

Sunam Gurung, Alisha N. Preno, Jamie P. Dubaut, Hugh Nadeau, Kimberly Hyatt, Nicole Reuter, Bharti Nehete, Roman F. Wolf, Pramod Nehete, Dirk P. Dittmer, Dean A. Myers, James F. Papin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus with devastating outcomes seen recently in the Americas due to the association of maternal ZIKV infection with fetal microcephaly and other fetal malformations not previously associated with flavivirus infections. Here, we have developed the olive baboon (Papio anubis) as a nonhuman primate (NHP) translational model for the study of ZIKV pathogenesis and associated disease outcomes to contrast and compare with humans and other major NHPs, such as macaques. Following subcutaneous inoculation of adult male and nonpregnant female baboons, viremia was detected at 3 and 4 days postinfection (dpi) with the concordant presentation of a visible rash and conjunctivitis, similar to human ZIKV infection. Furthermore, virus was detected in the mucosa and cerebrospinal fluid. A robust ZIKV-specific IgM and IgG antibody response was also observed in all the animals. These data show striking similarity between humans and the olive baboon following infection with ZIKV, suggesting our model is a suitable translational NHP model to study ZIKV pathogenesis and potential therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00186-18
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Baboon
  • Flavivirus
  • Nonhuman primate
  • West Nile virus
  • ZIKV
  • Zika virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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