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Chapter Twenty-Four. Nonhuman Primates. ALAT Presentations Study Tips. If viewing this in PowerPoint, use the icon to run the show (bottom left of screen). Mac users go to “Slide Show > View Show” in menu bar

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Chapter Twenty-Four

Nonhuman Primates

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ALAT Presentations Study Tips

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    • Mac users go to “Slide Show > View Show” in menu bar

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Nonhuman Primates

  • 1% of total no. vertebrates used in research

  • > 250 nonhuman primate species

  • Anthropoids = humans, apes & monkeys

  • Prosimians = all other primates

  • African & Asian origin =

    Old World monkeys

  • rhesus, cynomolgus & baboon

  • eyes set close together

  • nostrils open downward

  • cheek pouches

  • some have callous pads on

  • their buttocks

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Nonhuman Primates II

  • South & Central America = New World monkeys

    • squirrel monkeys, owl monkeys & marmosets

    • long prehensile tail to help them climb

    • nostrils open to the front or sides

  • Sometimes purchased as conditioned animals captured in the wild, held in captivity.

  • Increasing % used in research annually in US are bred in this country.

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Handling & Restraint

  • Susceptible to many human diseases.

  • Carriers of many diseases which infect humans.

    • for example, Herpes B virus which may be fatal in humans

  • Always wear lab coat or gown, mask, eye or face shield, gloves, cap & protective footwear.

  • Regard even playful, friendly

    NHP w/ caution.

  • Handle using chemical restraint,

    heavy leather gloves or pole

    & collar device .

  • Adult male of large species less

    dangerous by trimming or removing canine teeth.

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Handling & Restraint II

  • Physical restraint for animals weighing < 9 kg:

    • Wear heavy, double-layer gloves w/ long armlets.

    • Hold forearms behind back w/ 1 hand, extend legs firmly w/ other hand.

  • Chemical restraint:

    • immobilize in squeeze cage, injecting drug into arm or leg through cage door.

    • Ketamine hydrochloride is drug most commonly used.

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Physiological Data

  • Data for rhesus & cynomolgus monkeys, most common primates used in research

    • Body temperature: 98.6°-103.1°F

    • Heart rate: 120-180 / min.

    • Respiratory rate: 35-50 / min.

    • Weight: adult 6-11 kg; newborn 550 gm

    • Water consumption: 400-600 ml / day

    • Food consumption: 400-600 gm / day

    • Life span: 20-30 years

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Sexing & Breeding

  • Male has externally visible, pendulous penis w/ testes in scrotal sac; female has vulva.

  • Male larger & more aggressive than female.

  • The selection of a breeding program depends on the species and the purpose for which they are being mated.

  • Monogamous & harem mating for increased production.

  • Old World female has menstrual periods similar to human female.

  • New World female has estrous cycle similar to other animals.

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Sexing & Breeding II

  • Most birth 1 baby at a time, usually at night.

  • Most females good mothers, raise offspring with little aid.

  • Occasionally mothers abandon or mistreat young, necessitating separation & hand raising infant.

    • females known to adopt abandoned infants.

  •  Sexual maturity: 4-5 years

  •  Estrous cycle: 28 days

  •  Gestation: 150-175 days

  •  Litter size: 1 (marmosets often have twins)

  •  Weaning: 12-24 months

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  • Social benefit by contact &

    communication w/ same species.

  • Inquisitive, grab anything within reach.

    • Keep small items concealed.

  • Body language & behavior peculiar to species.

  • Can tell mental & physical health from body language.

  • Usually sit on buttocks or lie on resting perch.

  • Outdoors, enjoy sunning in a variety of positions.

  • Sleep sitting up w/ head bowed or lying on side.

  • Walk quadrupedally or bipedally.

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  • Group or individually housed

  • Play w/ their feces & food.

  • Cleaning may take > time than w/ other species.

  • Food greasy & can cause slippery floor.

  • Cage must meet 2 important criteria:

    • Material must withstand attempts to gnaw & pull apart.

    • Door fastener must be secured w/ padlock.

  • Squeeze cage for blood collection, drug administration & other manipulations

  • Sanitize every 2 wks.

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Husbandry II

  • Separate incoming primates from animals already in facility.

  • House in small groups of less than 6 - 10 / room.

  • Assign a number & start medical record.

  • Observe for signs of illness, TB test & screen for enteric pathogens.

  • Quarantine period for 31 - 60 days

  • Very susceptible to tuberculosis

    • TB tests more than 2x / year.

      • intradermally into eyelid

      • Redness or swelling at injection

        site may indicate TB.

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Husbandry III

  • Environmental enrichment necessary

    • opportunity to behave as though they were wild

  • House groups of monkeys together.

    • not always possible due to space limitations, incompatible animals (adult males) &

      research project requirements

  • Provide animals w/ toys, food

    treats, contact w/ other monkeys

    & interaction w/ personnel.

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  • Most use commercial monkey food.

  • Diet of New World monkeys

    should contain adequate vitamin C & vitamin D3.

  • Give daily food allowance in 2 or 3 equal portions throughout day.

    • Supplement w/ fruits and vegetables

  • Supplement New World monkey diets w/ natural foods such as fruit & nuts.

  • Teach juveniles & adults to use automatic watering valve by adjusting valve to leak slightly.

  • Start hand-reared newborns on bottle w/ sipper tube, switch to automatic devices when older.

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Additional Reading

Bennett, B.T., C.R. Abee, R. Henrickson. Nonhuman Primates in Biomedical Research: Biology and Management. Academic Press, San Diego, CA. 1995.

Fortman, Jeffrey D., B. Taylor Bennett and Terry A. Hewett. The Laboratory Non-Human Primate. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 1998.