Simian T-lymphotropic virus diversity among nonhuman primates, Cameroon

David M. Sintasath, Nathan D. Wolfe, Matthew LeBreton, Hongwei Jia, Albert D. Garcia, Joseph Le Doux Diffo, Ubald Tamoufe, Jean K. Carr, Thomas M. Folks, Eitel Mpoudi-Ngole, Donald S. Burke, Walid Heneine, William M. Switzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cross-species transmission of retroviruses is common in Cameroon. To determine risk for simian T-cell lympho- tropic virus (STLV) transmission from nonhuman primates to hunters, we examined 170 hunter-collected dried blood spots (DBS) from 12 species for STLV. PCR with generic tax and group-specific long terminal repeat primers showed that 12 (7%) specimens from 4 nonhuman primate species were infected with STLV. Phylogenetic analyses showed broad diversity of STLV, including novel STLV-1 and STLV-3 sequences and a highly divergent STLV-3 subtype found in Cercopithecus mona and C. nictitans monkeys. Screening of peripheral blood mononuclear cell DNA from 63 HTLV- seroreactive, PCR-negative hunters did not identify human infections with this divergent STLV-3. Therefore, hunter- collected DBS can effectively capture STLV diversity at the point where pathogen spillover occurs. Broad screening using this relatively easy collection strategy has potential for large-scale monitoring of retrovirus cross-species transmission among highly exposed human populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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