First Report of ‘Candidatus Mycoplasma haematomacacae’ in Laboratory-Kept Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta) Maintained in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Mongruel et al. (2022). Veterinary Sciences 9 (8)
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General Veterinary
Health monitoring programs in animals used as experimental models are essential, since only disease-free subjects are considered suitable for research purposes. In laboratory-kept animals, hemoplasmas have been described as an important confounding variable. Different hemoplasma species have been detected infecting non-human primates (NHP) from Brazil. However, the occurrence of hemoplasma species in laboratory-kept NHP in Brazil has not-yet been assessed. Accordingly, this study aimed (i) to screen laboratory-kept rhesus monkeys for hemoplasmas, (ii) to verify if any of the hemoplasma-positive animals demonstrate hematological abnormalities, and (iii) to assess the genotype diversity of hemoplasma species in NHP from Brazil. Five out of eight (62.5%; 95% CI: 3.05–8.63) rhesus monkeys tested positive for hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. by PCR. Sequencing, phylogenetic, distance, and genotype diversity analyses of partial 16S rRNA gene demonstrate that rhesus monkeys were infected by ‘Candidatus Mycoplasma haematomacacae’ (formerly ‘Candidatus Mycoplasma haemomacaque’). Assessments of partial 16S rRNA diversity of hemoplasma species in NHP suggest that at least four genetically diverse groups may occur in Brazil. Although no hematological abnormalities were demonstrated in rhesus monkeys evaluated herein, future studies are needed to elucidate the influence of ‘Ca. M. haematomacacae’ as a confounding variable on research studies.
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