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March 10, 1962

Occupational Infection with Virus B of Monkeys

Author Affiliations

Pearl River, N. Y.

JAMA. 1962;179(10):804-806. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050100058015

VIRUS B of monkeys, also known as herpes B and as herpesvirus simiae, causes a disease almost invariably fatal in man. This disease occurs as a mild natural infection in wild monkeys and apparently becomes even more prevalent in those under colony conditions. The virus has an affinity for many tissues and thus the disease assumes many forms. A notably consistent feature, however, is a viral type of encephalomyelitis.

The disease in man was first described by Sabin and Wright in 1934. To date, 18 cases have been reported, 12 of which have been reviewed by Davidson and Hummeler. Probably several others have occurred but have not been reported. Because of the steadily increasing use of Macaca mulatta (rhesus monkey) and Macaca philippinensis (cynomolgus monkey), both in research and in production of poliovirus vaccine, and the presence of the virus also in monkey renal tissue culture, the incidence of infection