[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HCV genotype 4 is prevalent in many African countries, yet little is known about the genotype׳s epidemic history on the continent. We present a comprehensive study of the molecular epidemiology of genotype 4. To address the deficit of data from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) we PCR amplified 60 new HCV isolates from the DRC, resulting in 33 core- and 48 NS5B-region sequences. Our data, together with genotype 4 database sequences, were analysed using Bayesian phylogenetic approaches. We find three well-supported intra-genotypic lineages and estimate that the genotype 4 common ancestor existed around 1733 (1650–1805). We show that genotype 4 originated in central Africa and that multiple lineages have been exported to north Africa since ~1850, including subtype 4a which dominates the epidemic in Egypt. We speculate on the causes of the historical intra-continental spread of genotype 4, including population movements during World War 2.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Men who have sex with men in Cameroon consistently face significant stigma and discrimination. The urban HIV prevalence in MSM is estimated at 35% with limited provision and uptake of specific HIV care. This study investigates the effect of stigma, discrimination and alienation on Cameroonian MSM's engagement of the HIV treatment cascade.
Methods: Key informants interviews with allies, in-depth interviews with MSM, and focus groups with MSM were used. Participants in 6 cities were asked to describe the MSM social and structural context, MSM knowledge of existing HIV-related services in clinics, MSM-specific services and how to improve services.
Using a codebook, coded texts were analyzed for recurring themes that were developed into results.
Results: First, many MSM reported experiences of discrimination, bribery and physical violence outside the health care setting. In addition, they recounted instances of community-level stigma regarding same-sex practices.
Second, we investigated the MSM-specific HIV/AIDS services. Most participants observed limited clinical and cultural competency of clinic staff in addressing their needs.
Thirdly, MSM declared that there was a significant psychological toll on them due to the lack of social support and limited healthcare access. Several individuals recounted feelings of alienation and depression; their alienation greatly discouraged them from seeking HIV services.
Conclusions: Community-level and healthcare-related stigma impacts the mental well-being of Cameroonian MSM as well as the uptake of MSM-oriented HIV/AIDS services. These data suggest an MSM-sensitization, stigma-reduction intervention for Cameroonian health care and social workers. This intervention may increase the uptake of HIV services for Cameroonian MSM.
142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2014; 11/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite recent declines in HIV incidence, sub-Saharan Africa remains the most heavily affected region in the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Estimates of HIV prevalence in African military personnel are scarce and inconsistent.
We conducted a serosurvey between June and September 2007 among 4043 Armed Forces personnel of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) stationed in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to determine the prevalence of HIV and syphilis infections and describe associated risk behaviours. Participants provided blood for HIV and syphilis testing and responded to a demographic and risk factor questionnaire.
The prevalence of HIV was 3.8% and the prevalence of syphilis was 11.9%. Women were more likely than men to be HIV positive, (7.5% vs. 3.6% respectively, aOR: 1.66, 95% C.I: 1.21-2.28, p < 0.05). Factors significantly associated with HIV infection included gender and self-reported genital ulcers in the 12 months before date of enrollment.
The prevalence of HIV in the military appears to be higher than the general population in DRC (3.8% vs. 1.3%, respectively), with women at increased risk of infection.
International Journal of STD & AIDS 05/2014; · 1.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Of the seven known species of human retroviruses only one, human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 4 (HTLV-4), lacks a known animal reservoir. We report the largest screening for simian T-cell lymphotropic virus (STLV-4) to date in a wide range of captive and wild non-human primate (NHP) species from Cameroon. Among the 681 wild and 426 captive NHPs examined, we detected STLV-4 infection only among gorillas by using HTLV-4-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The large number of samples analyzed, the diversity of NHP species examined, the geographic distribution of infected animals relative to the known HTLV-4 case, as well as detailed phylogenetic analyses on partial and full genomes, indicate that STLV-4 is endemic to gorillas, and that rather than being an ancient virus among humans, HTLV-4 emerged from a gorilla reservoir, likely through the hunting and butchering of wild gorillas. Our findings shed further light on the importance of gorillas as keystone reservoirs for the evolution and emergence of human infectious diseases and provide a clear course for preventing HTLV-4 emergence through management of human contact with wild gorillas, the development of improved assays for HTLV-4/STLV-4 detection and the ongoing monitoring of STLV-4 among gorillas and for HTLV-4 zoonosis among individuals exposed to gorilla populations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence and genetic diversity of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human pegivirus (HPgV) in many regions of sub-Saharan Africa is poorly characterized, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo - the largest country in the region and one of the most populous. To address this situation we conducted a molecular epidemiological survey of HCV and HPgV (previously named GB Virus C or hepatitis G virus) in samples collected in 2007 from 299 males from the DRC, whose ages ranged from 21 to 71years old. Samples were tested for the presence of HCV antibodies by ELISA reactive samples were subsequently tested for HCV RNA using RT-PCR in which both the HCV Core and NS5B genome regions were amplified. Remaining samples were tested for HPgV RNA and the HPgV NS3 genome region of positive samples was amplified. For HCV, 13.7% of the samples were seropositive (41/299) but only 3.7% were viremic (11/299). HPgV RNA was found in 12.7% (33/259) of samples. HCV viremia was strongly associated with age; the percentage of samples that contained detectable HCV RNA was ∼0.5% in those younger than 50 and 13% in those older than 50. Our study represents the first systematic survey of HCV genetic diversity in the DRC. HCV sequences obtained belonged to diverse lineages of genotype 4, including subtypes 4c, 4k, 4l and 4r, plus one unclassified lineage that may constitute a new subtype. These data suggest that HCV in the DRC exhibits an age 'cohort effect', as has been recently reported in neighbouring countries, and are consistent with the hypothesis that HCV transmission rates were higher in the mid-twentieth century, possibly as a result of parenteral, iatrogenic, or other unidentified factors. Different HCV subtypes were associated with individuals of different ages, implying that HCV infection in the DRC may have arisen through multiple separate HCV epidemics with different causes.
Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 02/2013; · 3.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: Despite men who have sex with men (MSM) being a key population for HIV programming globally, HIV epidemiologic data on MSM in Central Africa are sparse. We measured HIV and syphilis prevalence and the factors associated with HIV infection among MSM in Cameroon. Methods: Two hundred and seventy-two and 239 MSM aged >/=18 from Douala and Yaounde, respectively, were recruited using respondent-driven sampling (RDS) for this cross-sectional surveillance study in 2011. Participants completed a structured questionnaire and HIV and syphilis testing. Statistical analyses, including RDS-weighted proportions, bootstrapped confidence intervals and logistic regressions, were used. Results: Crude and RDS-weighted HIV prevalence were 28.6% (73/255) and 25.5% (95% CI 19.1-31.9) in Douala, and 47.3% (98/207) and 44.4% (95% CI 35.7-53.2) in Yaounde. Active syphilis prevalence in total was 0.4% (2/511). Overall, median age was 24 years, 62% (317/511) of MSM identified as bisexual and 28.6% (144/511) identified as gay. Inconsistent condom use with regular male partners (64.1%; 273/426) and casual male and female partners (48.5%; 195/402) was common, as was the inconsistent use of condom-compatible lubricants (CCLs) (26.3%; 124/472). In Douala, preferring a receptive sexual role was associated with prevalent HIV infection [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.33, 95% CI 1.02-5.32]. Compared to MSM without HIV infection, MSM living with HIV were more likely to have ever accessed a health service targeting MSM in Douala (aOR 4.88, 95% CI 1.63-14.63). In Yaounde, MSM living with HIV were more likely to use CCLs (aOR 2.44, 95% CI 1.19-4.97). Conclusions: High HIV prevalence were observed and condoms and CCLs were used inconsistently indicating that MSM are a priority population for HIV prevention, treatment and care services in Douala and Yaounde. Building the capacity of MSM community organizations and improving the delivery and scale-up of multimodal interventions for MSM that are sensitive to concerns about confidentiality and the complex individual, social, community-level and policy challenges are needed to successfully engage young MSM in the continuum of HIV care. In addition to scaling up condom and CCL access, evaluating the feasibility of novel biomedical interventions, including antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis and early antiretroviral therapy for MSM living with HIV in Cameroon, is also warranted.
[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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hunting and butchering of wildlife in Central Africa are known risk factors for a variety of human diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Due to the high incidence of human exposure to body fluids of non-human primates, the significant prevalence of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in non-human primates, and hunting/butchering associated cross-species transmission of other retroviruses in Central Africa, it is possible that SIV is actively transmitted to humans from primate species other than mangabeys, chimpanzees, and/or gorillas. We evaluated SIV transmission to humans by screening 2,436 individuals that hunt and butcher non-human primates, a population in which simian foamy virus and simian T-lymphotropic virus were previously detected. We identified 23 individuals with high seroreactivity to SIV. Nucleic acid sequences of SIV genes could not be detected, suggesting that SIV infection in humans could occur at a lower frequency than infections with other retroviruses, including simian foamy virus and simian T-lymphotropic virus. Additional studies on human populations at risk for non-human primate zoonosis are necessary to determine whether these results are due to viral/host characteristics or are indicative of low SIV prevalence in primate species consumed as bushmeat as compared to other retroviruses in Cameroon.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate population exposure of apes and Old World monkeys in Africa to enteroviruses (EVs), we conducted a seroepidemiologic study of serotype-specific neutralizing antibodies against 3 EV types. Detection of species A, B, and D EVs infecting wild chimpanzees demonstrates their potential widespread circulation in primates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections are widely distributed in humans, infecting approximately one third of the world's population. HBV variants have also been detected and genetically characterised from Old World apes; Gorilla gorilla (gorilla), Pan troglodytes (chimpanzee), Pongo pygmaeus (orang-utan), Nomascus nastusus and Hylobates pileatus (gibbons) and from the New World monkey, Lagothrix lagotricha (woolly monkey). To investigate species-specificity and potential for cross species transmission of HBV between sympatric species of apes (such as gorillas and chimpanzees in Central Africa) or between humans and chimpanzees or gorillas, variants of HBV infecting captive wild-born non-human primates were genetically characterised. 9 of 62 chimpanzees (11.3%) and two from 11 gorillas (18%) were HBV-infected (15% combined frequency), while other Old world monkey species were negative. Complete genome sequences were obtained from six of the infected chimpanzee and both gorillas; those from P. t .ellioti grouped with previously characterised variants from this subspecies. However, variants recovered from P. t. troglodytes HBV variants also grouped within this clade, indicative of transmission between sub-species, forming a paraphyletic clade. The two gorilla viruses were phylogenetically distinct from chimpanzee and human variants although one showed evidence for a recombination event with a P.t.e.-derived HBV variant in the partial X and core gene region. Both of these observations provide evidence for circulation of HBV between different species and sub-species of non-human primates, a conclusion that differs from the hypothesis if of strict host specificity of HBV genotypes.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e33430. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Between January 2010 and February of 2011, surveillance was conducted among patients with influenza-like illness (ILI). 1,837 patients of all ages presenting with ILI at 37 clinics and hospitals in 3 regions of Cameroon (Center, South and East) were included. Demographic information and symptoms were recorded for each patient. Participants provided either a nasopharyngeal or throat swab which was screened by real-time PCR for influenza viruses prior to virus isolation. Data was analyzed using STATA 11. As of February 2011, 98.2% of the samples have been tested. 17.8% were positive for influenza. 9.8% were Influenza B. H1N1 and H3N2 accounted for 5.7% and 2.4% of samples tested, respectively. 89.4% of influenza samples collected between March September 2010 were Influenza B. 92.7% of flu samples collected between October 2010 January 2011 were Influenza A viruses. Between November 2010 January 2011, H1N1 accounted for 84.6% of the influenza positive samples for the 3 month period. 61.2% of influenza positives for September and October of 2010 were H3N2. Influenza B patients reported 27.3% more acute symptoms as compared to H3N2 patients and 16.7% more acute symptoms than H1N1 patients. This study points to seasonal trends of influenza by subtype in Cameroon. Continued surveillance is necessary to determine if this trend is observed annually, and surveillance should be expanded to include more regions of Cameroon. Some patients reported receiving influenza vaccine and presenting with ILI shortly thereafter. Research into the efficacy of the vaccine and subtypes circulating in Cameroon is imperative.
139st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2011; 11/2011
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: African tick-bite fever is an emerging infectious disease caused by the spotted fever group Rickettsia, Rickettsia africae, and is transmitted by ticks of the genus Amblyomma. To determine the seroprevalence of exposure to R. africae and risk factors associated with infection, we conducted a cross-sectional study of persons in seven rural villages in distinct ecological habitats of Cameroon. We examined 903 plasma samples by using an indirect immunofluorescence assay for antibodies to R. africae and analyzed demographic and occupational data collected from questionnaires. Of the 903 persons tested, 243 (26.9%) had IgG/IgM/IgA reactive with R. africae. Persons from four of the seven village sites were significantly more likely to be seropositive (P < 0.05), and lowland forest sites tended to have higher seroprevalences. These results suggest that African tick-bite fever is common in adults in rural areas of Cameroon and that ecological factors may play a role in the acquisition of R. africae infection.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 04/2011; 84(4):608-13. · 2.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Capacity-building initiatives related to public health are defined as developing laboratory infrastructure, strengthening host-country disease surveillance initiatives, transferring technical expertise and training personnel. These initiatives represented a major piece of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, Division of Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (AFHSC-GEIS) contributions to worldwide emerging infectious disease (EID) surveillance and response. Capacity-building initiatives were undertaken with over 80 local and regional Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Defense, as well as other government entities and institutions worldwide. The efforts supported at least 52 national influenza centers and other country-specific influenza, regional and U.S.-based EID reference laboratories (44 civilian, eight military) in 46 countries worldwide. Equally important, reference testing, laboratory infrastructure and equipment support was provided to over 500 field sites in 74 countries worldwide from October 2008 to September 2009. These activities allowed countries to better meet the milestones of implementation of the 2005 International Health Regulations and complemented many initiatives undertaken by other U.S. government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State.
BMC Public Health 01/2011; 11 Suppl 2:S4. · 2.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data on the evolution of natural SIV infection in chimpanzees (SIVcpz) and on the impact of SIV on local ape populations are only available for Eastern African chimpanzee subspecies (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii), and no data exist for Central chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes), the natural reservoir of the ancestors of HIV-1 in humans. Here, we report a case of naturally-acquired SIVcpz infection in a P.t.troglodytes chimpanzee with clinical and biological data and analysis of viral evolution over the course of infection.
A male chimpanzee (Cam155), 1.5 years, was seized in southern Cameroon in November 2003 and screened SIV positive during quarantine. Clinical follow-up and biological analyses have been performed for 7 years and showed a significant decline of CD4 counts (1,380 cells/mm³ in 2004 vs 287 in 2009), a severe thrombocytopenia (130,000 cells/mm³ in 2004 vs 5,000 cells/mm³ in 2009), a weight loss of 21.8% from August 2009 to January 2010 (16 to 12.5 kg) and frequent periods of infections with diverse pathogens.DNA from PBMC, leftover from clinical follow-up samples collected in 2004 and 2009, was used to amplify overlapping fragments and sequence two full-length SIVcpzPtt-Cam155 genomes. SIVcpzPtt-Cam155 was phylogenetically related to other SIVcpzPtt from Cameroon (SIVcpzPtt-Cam13) and Gabon (SIVcpzPtt-Gab1). Ten molecular clones 5 years apart, spanning the V1V4 gp120 env region (1,100 bp), were obtained. Analyses of the env region showed positive selection (dN-dS >0), intra-host length variation and extensive amino acid diversity between clones, greater in 2009. Over 5 years, N-glycosylation site frequency significantly increased (p < 0.0001).
Here, we describe for the first time the clinical history and viral evolution of a naturally SIV infected P.t.troglodytes chimpanzee. The findings show an increasing viral diversity over time and suggest clinical progression to an AIDS-like disease, showing that SIVcpz can be pathogenic in its host, as previously described in P.t.schweinfurthii. Although studying the impact of SIV infection in wild apes is difficult, efforts should be made to better characterize the pathogenicity of the ancestors of HIV-1 in their natural host and to find out whether SIV infection also plays a role in ape population decline.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human parvovirus 4 infections are primarily associated with parenteral exposure in western countries. By ELISA, we demonstrate frequent seropositivity for antibody to parvovirus 4 viral protein 2 among adult populations throughout sub-Saharan Africa (Burkina Faso, 37%; Cameroon, 25%; Democratic Republic of the Congo, 35%; South Africa, 20%), which implies existence of alternative transmission routes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infections with human parvoviruses B19 and recently discovered human bocaviruses (HBoVs) are widespread, while PARV4 infections are transmitted parenterally and prevalent specifically in injecting drug users and hemophiliacs. To investigate the exposure and circulation of parvoviruses related to B19 virus, PARV4, and HBoV in nonhuman primates, plasma samples collected from 73 Cameroonian wild-caught chimpanzees and gorillas and 91 Old World monkey (OWM) species were screened for antibodies to recombinant B19 virus, PARV4, and HBoV VP2 antigens by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Moderate to high frequencies of seroreactivity to PARV4 (63% and 18% in chimpanzees and gorillas, respectively), HBoV (73% and 36%), and B19 virus (8% and 27%) were recorded for apes, while OWMs were uniformly negative (for PARV4 and B19 virus) or infrequently reactive (3% for HBoV). For genetic characterization, plasma samples and 54 fecal samples from chimpanzees and gorillas collected from Cameroonian forest floors were screened by PCR with primers conserved within Erythrovirus, Bocavirus, and PARV4 genera. Two plasma samples (chimpanzee and baboon) were positive for PARV4, while four fecal samples were positive for HBoV-like viruses. The chimpanzee PARV4 variant showed 18% and 15% nucleotide sequence divergence in NS and VP1/2, respectively, from human variants (9% and 7% amino acid, respectively), while the baboon variant was substantially more divergent, mirroring host phylogeny. Ape HBoV variants showed complex sequence relationships with human viruses, comprising separate divergent homologues of HBoV1 and the recombinant HBoV3 species in chimpanzees and a novel recombinant species in gorillas. This study provides the first evidence for widespread circulation of parvoviruses in primates and enables future investigations of their epidemiology, host specificity, and (co)evolutionary histories.
Journal of Virology 10/2010; 84(19):10289-96. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For the first time the genetic diversity among the uniformed personnel in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a country that has experienced military conflicts since 1998 and in which the global HIV-1/M pandemic started, has now been documented. A total of 94 HIV-1-positive samples, collected in 2007 in Kinshasa garrison settings from informed consenting volunteers, were genetically characterized in the pol region (protease and RT). An extensive diversity was observed, with 51% of the strains corresponding to six pure subtypes (A 23%, C 13.8%, D, G, H, J, and untypable), 15% corresponding to nine different CRFs (01, 02, 11, 13, 25, 26, 37, 43, and 45), and 34% being unique recombinants with one-third being complex mosaic viruses involving three or more different subtypes/CRFs. Only one strain harbored a single mutation, I54V, associated with drug resistance to protease inhibitors. Due to their high mobility and potential risk behavior, HIV infections in military personnel can lead to an even more complex epidemic in the DRC and to a possible increase of subtype C.
AIDS research and human retroviruses 10/2010; 27(3):323-9. · 2.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, HIV strains circulating among military personnel were characterized, in Malabo, the capital city of Equatorial Guinea. One sample was found to be HIV-2 group A while a high degree of genetic diversity was recorded in the pol region of 41 HIV-1-positive samples. CRF02_AG accounted for 53.7% of the strains, and 11 different variants were obtained in the remaining 19 samples: subtype G (n = 3), A3 (n = 2), C (n = 2), CRF26_A5U (n = 2), F2 (n = 1), CRF06 (n = 1), CRF09 (n = 1), CRF11 (n = 1), CRF22 (n = 1), and divergent subtype A (n = 1) and F (n = 1). One strain could not be classified and three were unique recombinants. Analysis of antiretroviral drug resistance mutations revealed two patients each harboring one major mutation, M46I in protease and D67N in reverse transcriptase sequences, respectively. The high genetic diversity and emerging ARV resistance mutations call for frequent surveys and appropriate monitoring of ARV considering the increasing access to ARV in the country.
AIDS research and human retroviruses 09/2010; 26(9):1027-31. · 2.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the fact that most emerging diseases stem from the transmission of pathogenic agents from animals to humans, the factors that mediate this process are still ill defined. What is known, however, is that the interface between humans and animals is of paramount importance in the process. This review will discuss the importance of the human-animal interface to the disease emergence process. We also provide an overview of factors that are believed to contribute to the origin and global spread of emerging infectious diseases and offer suggestions that may serve as future prevention strategies, such as social mobilization, public health education, behavioral change, and communication strategies. Because there exists no comprehensive global surveillance system to monitor zoonotic disease emergence, the intervention measures discussed herein may prove effective temporary alternatives.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recent discovery of human T-lymphotropic virus type 3 (HTLV-3) in Cameroon highlights the importance of expanded surveillance to better understand the prevalence and public health impact of this new retrovirus. HTLV diversity was investigated in 408 persons in rural Cameroon who reported simian exposures. Plasma from 29 persons (7.2%) had reactive serology. HTLV tax sequences were detected in 3 persons. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed HTLV-1 infection in two individuals and HTLV-3 infection in a third person (Cam2013AB). The complete proviral genome from Cam2013AB shared 98% identity and clustered tightly in distinct lineage with simian T-lymphotropic virus type 3 (STLV-3) subtype D recently identified in two guenon monkeys near this person's village. These results document a fourth HTLV-3 infection with a new and highly divergent strain we designate HTLV-3 (Cam2013AB) subtype D demonstrating the existence of a broad HTLV-3 diversity likely originating from multiple zoonotic transmissions of divergent STLV-3.