B virus infection is caused by the zoonotic agent Macacine herpesvirus 1, an alphaherpesvirus commonly found among macaque monkeys the natural host. B Virus (herpes B, monkey B virus, herpesvirus simiae, and herpesvirus B). B virus infection is caused by the zoonotic agent Macacine herpesvirus 1. However, zoonotic infection with B virus in humans usually results in fatal encephalomyelitis or severe neurologic impairment.
Conversely, when humans are zoonotically infected with B virus, patients can present with severe central nervous system disease, resulting in permanent neurological dysfunction or death. B virus is the only identified nonhuman primate herpesvirus that displays severe pathogenicity in humans. By 1959, B virus was identified as the causative agent in 17 human cases, 12 of which resulted in death. Serious disease due to BV is rare in macaques, but when transmitted to humans, BV has a propensity to invade the central nervous system and has a fatality rate greater than 70 if not treated promptly. However, the fatal effect of zoonotic BV infection in humans has driven the effort to eliminate BV from research macaques. In some, but not all, cases of zoonotic B virus infection, acyclovir and ganciclovir have proven to be effective at curtailing disease progression (7, 8).
B virus (Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1) is a zoonotic agent that can cause fatal encephalomyelitis in humans. Previously reported cases of B virus disease in humans usually have been attributed to animal bites, scratches, or percutaneous inoculation with infected materials; however, the first fatal case of B virus infection due to mucosal splash exposure was reported in 1998. B virus (Macacine herpesvirus 1) is closely related to herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and encodes gD, which shares more than 70 amino acid similarity with HSV-1 gD. B virus is the only known simplexvirus that causes zoonotic infection, resulting in approximately 80 mortality in untreated humans or in lifelong persistence with the constant threat of reactivation in survivors. During these investigations, B virus was categorized as a select agent by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); thus, all experiments were done in accordance with relevant Health and Human Services (HHS) (64, 65) and DHS regulations in the Viral Immunology Center biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory of Georgia State University prior to 2007 and BSL-4 laboratory following that date. Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1 (B virus), enzootic among monkeys of the genus Macaca, causes minimal morbidity in its natural host. However, cases of severe zoonotic disease, including infections with Macacine herpesvirus 1 (Herpes B) and Marburg-Reston virus, led to the implementation of stricter guidelines governing contact with NHP B Virus Working Group, 1988;Holmes et al. We conclude that primatologists are at high risk for exposure to NHP-borne infectious agents.
Herpes B Virus
Organism or Agent: Macacine herpes virus 1 (MHV-1). Zoonosis: Yes, through direct or indirect contact with the bodily fluids of MHV-1 infected monkeys. The vesicular eruption is clinically and pathologically similar to that caused by herpes simplex virus. Though it rarely causes disease in the natural host, accidental infection in humans and nonmacaque primates have been reported to cause fatal disseminated infection. The clinical course of disseminated viral infection can be peracute to slowly progressive, and herpes B virus infection as an underlying causative agent may not be suspected. Herpes B virus infection of humans is characterized by ascending paralysis and a high mortality rate. This resulted in early removal of all high-dose monkeys from the study because of zoonotic concerns.