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Virology. 2010 Jun 5;401(2):137-45. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2010.03.010. Epub 2010 Mar 30.

Emergence of a novel and highly divergent HTLV-3 in a primate hunter in Cameroon.

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  • 1Laboratory Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


The recent discovery of human T-lymphotropic virus type 3 (HTLV-3) in Cameroon highlights the importance of expanded surveillance to better understand the prevalence and public health impact of this new retrovirus. HTLV diversity was investigated in 408 persons in rural Cameroon who reported simian exposures. Plasma from 29 persons (7.2%) had reactive serology. HTLV tax sequences were detected in 3 persons. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed HTLV-1 infection in two individuals and HTLV-3 infection in a third person (Cam2013AB). The complete proviral genome from Cam2013AB shared 98% identity and clustered tightly in distinct lineage with simian T-lymphotropic virus type 3 (STLV-3) subtype D recently identified in two guenon monkeys near this person's village. These results document a fourth HTLV-3 infection with a new and highly divergent strain we designate HTLV-3 (Cam2013AB) subtype D demonstrating the existence of a broad HTLV-3 diversity likely originating from multiple zoonotic transmissions of divergent STLV-3.

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