Primary pneumonic plague in the African Green monkey as a model for treatment efficacy evaluation

R. Colby Layton, Trevor Brasel, Andrew Gigliotti, Edward Barr, Steven Storch, Leslie Myers, Charles Hobbs, Frederick Koster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background Primary pneumonic plague is rare among humans, but treatment efficacy may be tested in appropriate animal models under the FDA 'Animal Rule'.Methods Ten African Green monkeys (AGMs) inhaled 44-255 LD50 doses of aerosolized Yersinia pestis strain CO92. Continuous telemetry, arterial blood gases, chest radiography, blood culture, and clinical pathology monitored disease progression.Results Onset of fever, >39°C detected by continuous telemetry, 52-80 hours post-exposure was the first sign of systemic disease and provides a distinct signal for treatment initiation. Secondary endpoints of disease severity include tachypnea measured by telemetry, bacteremia, extent of pneumonia imaged by chest x-ray, and serum lactate dehydrogenase enzyme levels.Conclusions Inhaled Y. pestis in the AGM results in a rapidly progressive and uniformly fatal disease with fever and multifocal pneumonia, serving as a rigorous test model for antibiotic efficacy studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-17
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Medical Primatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • African green monkey
  • Plague
  • Pneumonia
  • Telemetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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