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J Virol. 1993 Mar;67(3):1517-28.

A distinct African lentivirus from Sykes' monkeys.

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Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rockville, Maryland 20852.


Asymptomatic infection with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) has been demonstrated in African Sykes' monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis albogularis), and virus isolation confirmed infection with a novel SIV from Sykes' monkeys (SIVsyk). Macaques inoculated with SIVsyk became persistently infected but remained clinically healthy. We utilized polymerase chain reaction amplification to generate a full-length, infectious molecular clone of SIVsyk. The genome organization of SIVsyk is similar to that of the other primate lentiviruses, consisting of gag, pol, vif, vpr, tat, rev, env, and nef. A unique feature is the absence of the highly conserved NF-kappa B binding site in the long terminal repeat. SIVsyk is genetically equidistant from other primate lentiviruses. Thus, SIVsyk represents a new group that is distinct from the four previously recognized primate lentivirus groups: human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), SIV from sooty mangabeys (SIVsmm) and HIV-2, SIV from African green monkeys (SIVagm), and SIV from mandrills (SIVmnd). The genetic differences between SIVsyk and SIVagm, isolates derived from monkeys of the same genus, underscore the potential for other distinct SIVs which have yet to be isolated and characterized.

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