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J Med Primatol. 1989;18(3-4):261-9.

Genetic diversity of simian immunodeficiency virus.

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  • 1New England Regional Primate Research Center, Southborough, MA.


We have demonstrated that the genetic diversity of simian immunodeficiency virus from African green monkeys (SIVagm) is much greater than that observed previously for individual HIV-1, HIV-2, or SIVmac isolates. Extensive genetic variation among SIVagm isolates and the high prevalence of green monkey infection without disease suggest that the virus has been in the green monkey population for a long time. We have also demonstrated that SIV from a sooty mangabey monkey (isolate SMM-7) is closer to SIVmac and HIV-2 than to HIV-1 and SIVagm. The extensive genetic diversity of SIVagm and the relatedness of SIVsmm to HIV-2 warrant continued examination of SIVagm and SIVsmm isolates from dispersed geographic regions. SIV strains much more closely related to HIV-1, HIV-2, or SIVmac may be found which would be reasonable candidates for recent cross-species transmission.

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