Arch Virol (2001) 146: 1723–1738
Isolation and characterization of an endogenous cytomegalovirus
(BaCMV) from baboons
E. L. Blewett
, G. White
, J. T. Saliki
, and R. Eberle
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, College of Osteopathic Medicine,
Oklahoma State University, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Animal Resources, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Oklahoma State University,
Stillwater, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine,
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Accepted April 2, 2001
Summary. This report describes the isolation of CMV-like viruses from olive,
yellow and chacma sub-species of baboons. The viruses were identiﬁed as CMVs
by their characteristic growth properties in cell culture, virion morphology under
the TEM, and antigenic cross-reactivity with other primate CMVs. The glycopro-
tein B gene homologue from an olive baboon CMV isolate (BaCMV OCOM4-37)
was identiﬁed, cloned and sequenced. We present the sequence of this gene and
by phylogenetic analysis demonstrate that BaCMV is in fact a cytomegalovirus,
and is more closely related to rhesus CMV than to human CMV. An ELISA was
developed to measure anti-BaCMV antibodies in baboon sera. Serological test-
ing of colony-bred and wild-born baboons indicated that BaCMV is ubiquitous
in all baboon populations, with >95% of adult baboons of all sub-species being
Cytomegaloviruses (CMVs) are members of the family Herpesviridae, subfamily
Beta-herpesvirinae and are ubiquitous intracellular pathogens found in many
mammalian species . CMVs typically exhibit a restricted host range, a slow
replication rate in tissue culture, and may remain persistent or latent in a num-
ber of tissue types including kidneys, leucocytes and secretory glands. Human
CMV (HCMV) is a common pathogen of man and is found in 50–90% of adults.
HCMV very rarely causes disease in immunocompetent individuals but is a