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J Virol. 2004 Apr;78(8):4352-6.

High variety of different simian T-cell leukemia virus type 1 strains in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) of the Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire.

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Division of Retrovirology, Robert Koch Institute, D-13353 Berlin, Germany.


We found human T-cell leukemia virus type 1- and simian T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (STLV-1)-related infections in 5 of 10 chimpanzees originating from three groups of wild chimpanzees. The new virus isolates showed a surprising heterogeneity not only in comparison to STLV-1 described previously in other primate species but also between the different chimpanzee groups, within a group, or even between strains isolated from an individual animal. The interdisciplinary combination of virology, molecular epidemiology, and long-term behavioral studies suggests that the primary route of infection might be interspecies transmission from other primates, such as red colobus monkeys, that are hunted and consumed by chimpanzees.

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