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Naturwissenschaften. 2002 Apr;89(4):185-6.

Transferability of HIV by arthropods supports the hypothesis about transmission of the virus from apes to man.

Author information

  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany. meigen@gwdg.de

Erratum in

  • Naturwissenschaften 2002 Jun;89(6):280.


The primate Pan troglodytes troglodytes, a chimpanzee subspecies, has recently been defined as a natural animal host of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Apes are traditionally hunted in Africa and are offered for sale in open-air meat markets. The bloody carcasses are regularly covered with blood-feeding flies, amongst them possibly the stable fly (Stomoxvs calcitrans L.). a cosmopolitically occurring biting fly. This fly is the effective vector for the retrovirus causing equine infectious anemia [corrected]. According to laboratory experiments, the infectivity of ingested HIV is not reduced in the regurgitates of this fly. These findings are combined to explain the mechanism for a possible primary transmission of HIV from ape to man.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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