Characterisation of Mhc class I and class II DRB polymorphism in red-bellied tamarins (Saguinus labiatus)
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The infection of red-bellied tamarins (Saguinus labiatus) with GB virus B (GBV-B) is an important surrogate model of hepatitis C virus infection in man. To fully exploit the value of this model, we have characterised MHC class I G and class II DRB alleles in eight tamarins representing a cross-section of a UK breeding colony. The results indicated a high degree of classes I and II DRB allele sharing. Each animal transcribed three to four putative surface-expressed class I alleles and two to four class II DRB alleles. Most animals also transcribed at least one class I allele predicted to result in a C-terminal truncated protein. These results represent the first description of MHC polymorphism in this species and provide a foundation for characterisation of MHC diversity in breeding populations of red-bellied tamarins. The data will facilitate the identification of associations between MHC polymorphism and control of viral infections, and detailed dissection of cellular immune responses against GBV-B.
KeywordsTamarin Saguinus labiatus New World monkey GBV-B MHC
We are grateful to Jessica Dale for helpful discussions and provision of biological samples from tamarins and to the veterinary and support staff for their expertise. This work was funded by the NIHR Centre for Research in Health Protection at the Health Protection Agency. This report is of work commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health.
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