High Prevalence, Coinfection Rate, and Genetic Diversity of Retroviruses in Wild Red Colobus Monkeys (Piliocolobus badius badius) in Tai National Park, Cote d'Ivoire

Research Group Emerging Zoonoses, Robert Koch Institut, Nordufer 20, Berlin, Germany.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.44). 08/2010; 84(15):7427-36. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00697-10
Source: PubMed


Simian retroviruses are precursors of all human retroviral pathogens. However, little is known about the prevalence and coinfection rates or the genetic diversity of major retroviruses-simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), simian T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (STLV-1), and simian foamy virus (SFV)-in wild populations of nonhuman primates. Such information would contribute to the understanding of the natural history of retroviruses in various host species. Here, we estimate these parameters for wild West African red colobus monkeys (Piliocolobus badius badius) in the Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire. We collected samples from a total of 54 red colobus monkeys; samples consisted of blood and/or internal organs from 22 monkeys and additionally muscle and other tissue samples from another 32 monkeys. PCR analyses revealed a high prevalence of SIV, STLV-1, and SFV in this population, with rates of 82%, 50%, and 86%, respectively. Forty-five percent of the monkeys were coinfected with all three viruses while another 32% were coinfected with SIV in combination with either STLV or SFV. As expected, phylogenetic analyses showed a host-specific pattern for SIV and SFV strains. In contrast, STLV-1 strains appeared to be distributed in genetically distinct and distant clades, which are unique to the Taï forest and include strains previously described from wild chimpanzees in the same area. The high prevalence of all three retroviral infections in P. b. badius represents a source of infection to chimpanzees and possibly to humans, who hunt them.

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Available from: Sébastien Calvignac-Spencer
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    • "SFV prevalence in sooty mangabeys seems high, but the sample size is still too small to derive a meaningful prevalence estimate (nine positive individuals out of twelve tested; J Gogarten and F Leendertz unpublished data). SFV in red colobus has one of the highest prevalences of all retroviruses so far tested for at Taï National Park (apparent prevalence¼86% (95% CI 72–100); Leendertz et al., 2010). This is a similarly high prevalence as found in red colobus in East Africa and non-human primate populations in general (Calattini et al., 2004; Goldberg et al., 2009; Liu et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: The existence and genetic make-up of most primate retroviruses was revealed by studies of bushmeat and fecal samples from unhabituated primate communities. For these, detailed data on intra-and within-species contact rates are generally missing, which makes identification of factors influencing transmission a challenging task. Here we present an assessment of 12 years of research on primate retroviruses in the Taï National Park area, Côte d'Ivoire. We discuss insights gained into the prevalence, within-and cross-species transmission of primate retroviruses (including towards local human populations) and the importance of virus–host interactions in determining cross-species transmission risk. Finally we discuss how retroviruses ecology and evolution may change in a shifting environment and identify avenues for future research.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Virology
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    • "Stomach passage time in primates is much shorter than in carnivores (Meyer et al., 1985, 1988, as cited by; Wrangham, 2009), which presumably compromises digestion of raw meat. Reduced stomach time may also increase the risk of disease transmission (Leendertz et al., 2010), another possible cost of eating meat. "
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    • "Many of these works have also allowed the rough determination of prevalence rates for a number of retrovirus/host systems [2]. Simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIV), simian T-cell leukaemia viruses type 1 (STLV-1) and simian foamy viruses (SFV) could all be shown to reach high prevalence rates (>50%) in at least some of their host species [2]–[6]. In these conditions, it seems reasonable to predict that retroviral super-infection, here defined as the simultaneous infection of the same individual host with several strains of the same virus, will occur frequently in (at least) some wild primate hosts. "
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    ABSTRACT: While much attention has been focused on the molecular epidemiology of retroviruses in wild primate populations, the correlated question of the frequency and nature of super-infection events, i.e., the simultaneous infection of the same individual host with several strains of the same virus, has remained largely neglected. In particular, methods possibly allowing the investigation of super-infection from samples collected non-invasively (such as faeces) have never been properly compared. Here, we fill in this gap by assessing the costs and benefits of end-point dilution PCR (EPD-PCR) and multiple bulk-PCR cloning, as applied to a case study focusing on simian foamy virus super-infection in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We show that, although considered to be the gold standard, EPD-PCR can lead to massive consumption of biological material when only low copy numbers of the target are expected. This constitutes a serious drawback in a field in which rarity of biological material is a fundamental constraint. In addition, we demonstrate that EPD-PCR results (single/multiple infection; founder strains) can be well predicted from multiple bulk-PCR clone experiments, by applying simple statistical and network analyses to sequence alignments. We therefore recommend the implementation of the latter method when the focus is put on retroviral super-infection and only low retroviral loads are encountered.
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