Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Tuberculosis Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
Frequent infection with zoonotic simian foamy virus (SFV) has been reported among HIV-negative primate hunters in rural Cameroon. Plasma samples obtained from urban commercial sex workers (CSWs; n = 139), patients with sexually transmitted diseases (n = 41), and blood donors (n = 179) in the Democratic Republic of Congo [formerly known as Zaire] and Cameroon were tested for SFV and HIV-1 infection. One CSW and one blood donor were found to be seropositive for both SFV and HIV-1, thereby documenting what are, to our knowledge, the first reported cases of dual SFV and HIV infection. The findings of the present study suggest opportunities for bloodborne and sexual transmission of SFV and highlight the importance of defining the clinical consequences of dual infections.
"Several research groups have examined zoonotic transmission of SFV from NHP to humans. Zoonotic transmission has been documented in monkey handlers and laboratory technicians and veterinarians, bush meat hunters in Africa and temple workers in South and Southeast Asia that live near monkeys.23,24,25,26,27 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Foamy viruses are complex retroviruses that have been shown to be transmitted from nonhuman primates to humans. In Bangladesh, infection with simian foamy virus (SFV) is ubiquitous among rhesus macaques, which come into contact with humans in diverse locations and contexts throughout the country. We analyzed microsatellite DNA from 126 macaques at six sites in Bangladesh in order to characterize geographic patterns of macaque population structure. We also included in this study 38 macaques owned by nomadic people who train them to perform for audiences. PCR was used to analyze a portion of the proviral gag gene from all SFV-positive macaques, and multiple clones were sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis was used to infer long-term patterns of viral transmission. Analyses of SFV gag gene sequences indicated that macaque populations from different areas harbor genetically distinct strains of SFV, suggesting that geographic features such as forest cover play a role in determining the dispersal of macaques and SFV. We also found evidence suggesting that humans traveling the region with performing macaques likely play a role in the translocation of macaques and SFV. Our studies found that individual animals can harbor more than one strain of SFV and that presence of more than one SFV strain is more common among older animals. Some macaques are infected with SFV that appears to be recombinant. These findings paint a more detailed picture of how geographic and sociocultural factors influence the spectrum of simian-borne retroviruses.
"Curiously, SFV prevalence in our study population did not differ by gender. We have previously identified SFV antibodies in a female sex worker in DRC
. These results contrast with all other African studies where male hunters were more likely to be infected via more severe NHP contact, such as bite wounds
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Zoonotic transmission of simian retroviruses in Central Africa is ongoing and can result in pandemic human infection. While simian foamy virus (SFV) infection was reported in primate hunters in Cameroon and Gabon, little is known about the distribution of SFV in Africa and whether human-to-human transmission and disease occur. We screened 3,334 plasmas from persons living in rural villages in central Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) using SFV-specific EIA and Western blot (WB) tests. PCR amplification of SFV polymerase sequences from DNA extracted from buffy coats was used to measure proviral loads. Phylogenetic analysis was used to define the NHP species origin of SFV. Participants completed questionnaires to capture NHP exposure information.
Sixteen (0.5%) samples were WB-positive; 12 of 16 were from women (75%, 95% confidence limits 47.6%, 92.7%). Sequence analysis detected SFV in three women originating from Angolan colobus or red-tailed monkeys; both monkeys are hunted frequently in DRC. NHP exposure varied and infected women lived in distant villages suggesting a wide and potentially diverse distribution of SFV infections across DRC. Plasmas from 22 contacts of 8 WB-positive participants were all WB negative suggesting no secondary viral transmission. Proviral loads in the three women ranged from 14 – 1,755 copies/105 cells.
Our study documents SFV infection in rural DRC for the first time and identifies infections with novel SFV variants from Colobus and red-tailed monkeys. Unlike previous studies, women were not at lower risk for SFV infection in our population, providing opportunities for spread of SFV both horizontally and vertically. However, limited testing of close contacts of WB-positive persons did not identify human-to-human transmission. Combined with the broad behavioral risk and distribution of NHPs across DRC, our results suggest that SFV infection may have a wider geographic distribution within DRC. These results also reinforce the potential for an increased SFV prevalence throughout the forested regions of Africa where humans and simians co-exist. Our finding of endemic foci of SFV infection in DRC will facilitate longitudinal studies to determine the potential for person-to-person transmissibility and pathogenicity of these zoonotic retroviral infections.
"Calattini et al. reported that a small series of wild-born, wild-caught mandrills in Cameroon as well as five mandrills in the Primate Centre in Gabon were infected with SFV . Furthermore, recent studies showed that interspecies transmission of SFV from mandrills to humans is possible [15,16,34]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Each of the pathogenic human retroviruses (HIV-1/2 and HTLV-1) has a nonhuman primate counterpart, and the presence of these retroviruses in humans results from interspecies transmission. The passage of another simian retrovirus, simian foamy virus (SFV), from apes or monkeys to humans has been reported. Mandrillus sphinx, a monkey species living in central Africa, is naturally infected with SFV. We evaluated the natural history of the virus in a free-ranging colony of mandrills and investigated possible transmission of mandrill SFV to humans.
We studied 84 semi-free-ranging captive mandrills at the Primate Centre of the Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville (Gabon) and 15 wild mandrills caught in various areas of the country. The presence of SFV was also evaluated in 20 people who worked closely with mandrills and other nonhuman primates. SFV infection was determined by specific serological (Western blot) and molecular (nested PCR of the integrase region in the polymerase gene) assays. Seropositivity for SFV was found in 70/84 (83%) captive and 9/15 (60%) wild-caught mandrills and in 2/20 (10%) humans. The 425-bp SFV integrase fragment was detected in peripheral blood DNA from 53 captive and 8 wild-caught mandrills and in two personnel. Sequence and phylogenetic studies demonstrated the presence of two distinct strains of mandrill SFV, one clade including SFVs from mandrills living in the northern part of Gabon and the second consisting of SFV from animals living in the south. One man who had been bitten 10 years earlier by a mandrill and another bitten 22 years earlier by a macaque were found to be SFV infected, both at the Primate Centre. The second man had a sequence close to SFVmac sequences. Comparative sequence analysis of the virus from the first man and from the mandrill showed nearly identical sequences, indicating genetic stability of SFV over time.
Our results show a high prevalence of SFV infection in a semi-free-ranging colony of mandrills, with the presence of two different strains. We also showed transmission of SFV from a mandrill and a macaque to humans.
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