Abstract and Biography - Dr. Jean Patterson


Marmosets as a Model for Human Infections of Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses

The development of non-human primates (NHPs) for viral diseases presents certain challenges when the virus requires maximum containment or Biosafety Level 4. The goal when developing an animal model should be its ability to mimic human disease as much as possible. Handling of animals in maximum containment presents a serious risk for potential exposure. We have developed the common marmoset in our BSL4 laboratory for both Ebola Virus and Lassa Fever Virus. Both of these viral systems have significant hemorrhage associated with disease. The marmoset is smaller than most NHPs and more animals can be utilized in the small spaces. The marmoset has no known viruses which could pose a risk to humans such as Herpes B virus. Herpes B virus is prominent in macaque populations. The marmoset is considered more docile in comparison to other NHPs, which have been developed for hemorrhagic fever virus disease. We have shown that marmosets mimic both Ebola Virus and Lassa Fever Virus disease states and are extremely well adapted to maximum containment


Dr. Jean Patterson is a professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Texas. She received her Bachelors in Zoology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She then went on to receive her PhD in biology from the University of Notre Dame. She then took a post doc position at the University of Wisconsin in Madison Wisconsin. She is currently a Member of the BSL-4 Committee and BSL-4 Training Committee at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in the Department of Virology and Immunology. During the years of 2016-2018, Dr. Patterson was the Chair of the BSL-4 Task Force in the Department of Virology and Immunology. Her current research focuses on the development of therapies and vaccines against naturally occurring pathogens that can cause sporadic but lethal outbreaks, and her most recent studies concentrate on hemorrhagic fever viruses. She has been involved in the development of multiple vaccines against Ebola and Lassa fever that are currently undergoing further studies. Dr. Patterson has also helped develop a marmoset model used for multiple infectious agents including Ebola virus, Marburg virus, and Lassa fever, which she will be discussing today.