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Inhalational anthrax is a rare but potentially fatal infection in man. The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) was evaluated as a small non-human primate (NHP) model of inhalational anthrax infection, as an alternative to larger NHP species. The marmoset was found to be susceptible to inhalational exposure to Bacillus anthracis Ames strain. The pathophysiology of infection following inhalational exposure was similar to that previously reported in the rhesus and cynomolgus macaque and humans. The calculated LD(50) for B. anthracis Ames strain in the marmoset was 1.47 x 10(3) colony-forming units, compared with a published LD(50) of 5.5 x 10(4) spores in the rhesus macaque and 4.13 x 10(3) spores in the cynomolgus macaque. This suggests that the common marmoset is an appropriate alternative NHP and will be used for the evaluation of medical countermeasures against respiratory anthrax infection.

Original publication





International journal of experimental pathology

Publication Date





171 - 179


Biomedical Sciences, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK.


Animals, Callithrix, Bacillus anthracis, Anthrax, Respiratory Tract Infections, Disease Models, Animal, Body Weight, Aerosols, Colony Count, Microbial, Lethal Dose 50, Inhalation Exposure, Virulence, Female, Male