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Virology. 2008 Jun 20;376(1):90-100. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2008.01.049. Epub 2008 Apr 28.

Full molecular characterization of a simian immunodeficiency virus, SIVwrcpbt from Temminck's red colobus (Piliocolobus badius temminckii) from Abuko Nature Reserve, The Gambia.

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


Simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) are found in an extensive number of African primates, and humans continue to be exposed to these viruses by hunting and handling of primate bushmeat. The purpose of our study was to examine to what extent Piliocolobus badius subspecies are infected with SIV in order to better characterize SIVwrc in general and to gain further insight into the impact of geographic barriers and subspeciation on the evolution of SIVwrc. We analysed sixteen faecal samples and two tissue samples of the P. b. temminckii subspecies collected in the Abuko Nature Reserve (The Gambia, West Africa). SIV infection could only be identified in one tissue sample, and phylogenetic tree analyses of partial pol and env sequences showed that the new SIVwrcPbt virus is closely related to SIVwrcPbb strains from P. b. badius in the Taï forest (Côte d'Ivoire), thus suggesting that geographically separated subspecies are infected with a closely related virus. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of the full-length genome sequence confirmed that SIVwrcPbt is a species-specific SIV lineage, although it is distantly related to the SIVlho and SIVsun lineages across its entire genome. Characterization of additional SIVwrc viruses is needed to understand the ancestral phylogenetic relation to SIVs from l'Hoest and sun-tailed monkeys and whether recombination occurred between ancestors of the SIVwrc and SIVlho/sun lineages.

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