Clinical communication: Pediatrics| Volume 41, ISSUE 4, e89-e90, October 2011

Cercopithecine Herpesvirus 1 Risk in a Child Bitten by a Bonnet Macaque Monkey


      Background: Exotic animal importation and trade has the potential to expose the public to a variety of injuries and diseases not endemic to the United States. Bonnet Macaque monkeys are a fairly common primate illegally held in captivity. These monkeys become aggressive as they age past 2 years and are known to carry asymptomatic Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1 infection. Objective: This case is presented to illustrate the point that simple wound management alone may not only be insufficient but could be fatal in certain exotic animal bites and that the emergency physician should consult with authorities familiar with exotic animals when treating a patient with an exotic animal bite. Case Report: We present the case of a 2-year-old child that was bitten by his neighbor's pet Bonnet Macaque monkey. This species of Old World monkey carries the Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1 (simian B virus) 73–100% of the time. This infection in humans can lead to an encephalitis that has a 70% mortality rate. Consultation with animal authorities led to the proper treatment, which included routine wound care, rabies prophylaxis, irrigation with sodium hypochlorite solution, and treatment with antiviral medication. Conclusion: Simple wound management alone may not be enough in patients bitten by exotic animals. Consultation with local zoo officials, veterinary medical schools, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommended in these cases.


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