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Virology. 1999 Jul 20;260(1):116-24.

Isolation and partial characterization of a lentivirus from talapoin monkeys (Myopithecus talapoin).

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Laboratory of Immunobiology, National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Protection, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


We have identified a novel lentivirus prevalent in talapoin monkeys (Myopithecus talapoin), extending previous observations of human immunodeficiency virus-1 cross-reactive antibodies in the serum of these monkeys. We obtained a virus isolate from one of three seropositive monkeys initially available to us. The virus was tentatively named simian immunodeficiency virus from talapoin monkeys (SIVtal). Despite the difficulty of isolating this virus, it was readily passed between monkeys in captivity through unknown routes of transmission. The virus could be propagated for short terms in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of talapoin monkeys but not in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells or human T cell lines. The propagated virus was used to infect a naive talapoin monkey, four rhesus macaques (M. mulatta), and two cynomolgus macaques (M. fascicularis). All animals seroconverted and virus could be reisolated during a short period after experimental infection. A survey of SIVtal-infected captive talapoin monkeys revealed a relative decrease in CD4(+) cell numbers in chronically (>2 years) infected animals. No other signs of immunodeficiency were observed in any of the infected animals. PCR amplification followed by DNA sequencing of two fragments of the polymerase gene revealed that SIVtal is different from the presently known lentiviruses and perhaps most related to the SIV from Sykes monkeys.

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