Squirrel monkey is a non-human primate that is phylogenetically close to humans, with physiological, anatomical and genetic similarities. Due to their small size and ease of handling in captivity, squirrel monkeys are one of the most commonly used New World primates in biomedical research and has made great contributions to the field of biomedical research.
Introduction of Squirrel Monkey
Squirrel monkeys (Saimiri spp) are a small New World primate of the Saimiri genus. They belong to the subfamily Saimierinae and can be divided into 7 species: Saimiri cassiquiarensis, Saimiri vanzolinii, Saimiri macrodon, Saimiri boliviensis, Saimiri sciureus, Saimiri ustus, and Saimiri oerstedii. Squirrel monkeys have a short, thick coat and all species have white coloration or a mask around their eyes and dark brown or black coloring around the muzzle. Physical characteristics include small size, ease of handling, and faster maturation, which contribute to their desirability as research subjects. Squirrel monkeys have a lifespan of approximately 30 years whose taxonomy recently revised.
Why Are Squirrel Monkeys Good Models in Biological Research?
The similarity between squirrel monkeys and humans is a key advantage that makes them biological research object compared to other mammalian models of human disease. In addition, they adapt easily to laboratory housing and can be housed in smaller spaces than the Old World primates. Unlike working with Old World primates (especially macaques), no additional personal protective equipment is required when working with squirrel monkeys. Their small size, combined with reduced demand for personal protection equipment during handling, has made squirrel monkeys attractive species for model development and viral pathogenesis studies, which are about 30% to 40% less expensive than similar studies in macaques.
Application of Squirrel Monkey in Biomedical Research
Among the neotropical non-human primates commonly used in biomedical research, squirrel monkeys are one of the most commonly used species in animal model development. Squirrel monkeys are used in many aspects of biomedical research, including viral persistence, ophthalmology, toxicology, pharmacology, neuroendocrinology, infectious diseases, cancer treatment, vaccine development, gene expression, and reproductive physiology. The similarity between the squirrel monkey immune system and the human immune system means that research outcomes are likely to summarize what occurs in human disease. This is especially true for the study of several notable infectious diseases, including malaria, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV1) infection. For these diseases, squirrel monkeys are the preferred model system for studying pathogenesis, experimental treatment, and prevention strategies. Squirrel monkeys are considered to be the most susceptible nonhuman primate species for the experimental transmission of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies that cause chronic wasting disease.
In addition to their important applications in in vivo studies, biological products, such as whole blood, plasma, serum, primary cells, tissues, body fluids, derived from squirrel monkeys serve as valuable tools for in vitro studies. Creative Biolabs provides high-quality non-human primate products from different species, which will assist your research in target validation, cell-based assays, immunology research, and toxicology study, etc. In addition, we also offer customized services and samples from diseases models to meet your specific needs. For any specific request, please feel free to contact us.