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Virology. 2008 Feb 20;371(2):405-17. Epub 2007 Nov 5.

Identification and molecular characterization of new STLV-1 and STLV-3 strains in wild-caught nonhuman primates in Cameroon.

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UMR 145, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and University of Montpellier 1, Montpellier, France.


Humans and simian species are infected by deltaretroviruses (HTLV and STLV respectively), which are collectively called primate T-cell lymphotropic viruses (PTLVs). In humans, four types of HTLV have been described (HTLV-1 to -4) with three of them having closely related simian virus analogues named STLV-1, 2 and 3. In this study, our aim was to search for a simian HTLV-4-related virus and to document and characterize further the diversity of STLV infections in wild primate populations. We screened 1297 whole blood samples from 13 different primate species from southern Cameroon. Overall, 93 samples gave HTLV-1, HTLV-2 or dual HTLV-1/-2 INNOLIA profiles, 12 were HTLV positive but untypeable and 14 were indeterminate. Subsequently, we performed generic and specific (STLV-1 to -3) tax-rex PCRs to discriminate the different PTLV types, completed with phylogenetic analysis of 450-bp LTR sequences for STLV-1 and 900 bp pX-LTR sequences for STLV-3. We show for the first time that Lophocebus albigena and Cercopithecus cephus carry both STLV-1 and a divergent STLV-3. We also identified a new STLV-1 lineage in one C. cephus. Finally, we identify relative divergence levels in the tax/rex phylogeny suggesting that additional types of PTLV should be defined, particularly for the highly divergent STLV-1(MarB43) strain that we provisionally name STLV-5.

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