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Emergence of unique primate T-lymphotropic viruses among central African bushmeat hunters

Wolfe, ND and Heneine, W and Carr, JK and Garcia, AD and Shanmugam, V and Tamoufe, U and Torimiro, JN and Prosser, AT and LeBreton, M and Mpoudi-Ngole, E and McCutchan, FE and Birx, DL and Folks, TM and Burke, DS and Switzer, WM (2005) Emergence of unique primate T-lymphotropic viruses among central African bushmeat hunters. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102 (22). 7994 - 7999. ISSN 0027-8424

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The human T-lymphotropic viruses (HTLVs) types 1 and 2 originated independently and are related to distinct lineages of simian T-lymphotropic viruses (STLV-1 and STLV-2, respectively). These facts, along with the finding that HTLV-1 diversity appears to have resulted from multiple cross-species transmissions of STLV-1, suggest that contact between humans and infected nonhuman primates (NHPs) may result in HTLV emergence. We investigated the diversity of HTLV among central Africans reporting contact with NHP blood and body fluids through hunting, butchering, and keeping primate pets. We show that this population is infected with a wide variety of HTLVs, including two previously unknown retroviruses: HTLV-4 is a member of a phylogenetic lineage that is distinct from all known HTLVs and STLVs; HTLV-3 falls within the phylogenetic diversity of STLV-3, a group not previously seen in humans. We also document human infection with multiple STLV-1-like viruses. These results demonstrate greater HTLV diversity than previously recognized and suggest that NHP exposure contributes to HTLV emergence. Our discovery of unique and divergent HTLVs has implications for HTLV diagnosis, blood screening, and potential disease development in infected persons. The findings also indicate that cross-species transmission is not the rate-limiting step in pandemic retrovirus emergence and suggest that it may be possible to predict and prevent disease emergence by surveillance of populations exposed to animal reservoirs and interventions to decrease risk factors, such as primate hunting. © 2005 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wolfe, ND
Heneine, W
Carr, JK
Garcia, AD
Shanmugam, V
Tamoufe, U
Torimiro, JN
Prosser, AT
LeBreton, M
Mpoudi-Ngole, E
McCutchan, FE
Birx, DL
Folks, TM
Burke, DSdonburke@pitt.eduDONBURKE
Switzer, WM
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Center for Vaccine Research
Date: 31 May 2005
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume: 102
Number: 22
Page Range: 7994 - 7999
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1073/pnas.0501734102
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0027-8424
Date Deposited: 08 May 2015 14:42
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 16:57


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