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Developmental Research Project DP009

Collaborating Institution: Tulane University, Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC), Covington, LA

Principal Investigator: Kasi Russell-Lodrigue, DVM, PhD

Title of the Project: A Macaque Model of Acute Coxiella burnetii Infection


Expected Product:  To generate a robust nonhuman primate model of disease for Coxiella burnetii to accelerate validation of vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic products

Description: Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular bacterium that causes Q fever, a flu-like illness with complications including pneumonia and hepatitis in humans. We propose to re-establish and characterize the aerosol-challenge rhesus macaque model of acute Q fever by detailing physiologic, pathologic, and immunologic changes following infection. The optimum challenge dose will be confirmed based on aspects of the disease that most resemble acute human illness, such as development of fever and pneumonia, to prepare for future vaccine efficacy studies. Advanced monitoring and molecular techniques including biotelemetry, radiology, polychromatic flow cytometry, DNA microarray, multiplex cytokine/chemokine assays, and immunohistochemistry will be used to gain a more thorough understanding of the host response and immunopathogenesis of C. burnetii infection than has been accomplished in previous studies. The personnel, facilities, and resources available at the Tulane National Primate Research Center make it the ideal environment to successfully develop and thoroughly characterize the macaque model of acute Coxiella burnetii infection.