Animals in Research

Marmosets and Zika

Location: Texas, USA
Group: Primates
Species: Marmoset
Research Areas: Aging and longevity, Obesity, Reproduction

Marmosets were a critical model for understanding the effects of Zika infections on pregnant mothers.  In mid-2018, six national primate research centers conducted a collaborative study. It showed pregnancy loss due to Zika infections that don’t generate any symptoms in women may be a common, but unrecognized cause of unexpected miscarriages and stillbirths. This study was published in the journal Nature Medicine.

The Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) is one of only two national primate research centers that house marmosets for research. SNPRC has the largest population of aged marmosets (older than 10 years) in the country. As a non-endangered primate of small size, with the highest fertility (usually producing twins) and the shortest life span, marmosets offer a unique and important nonhuman primate model for biomedical research.