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Species-specific diversity among simian immunodeficiency viruses from African green monkeys.

By J S Allan, M Short, M E Taylor, S Su, V M Hirsch, P R Johnson, G M Shaw and B H Hahn


The prevalence, natural history, and genetic characteristics of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infections in most feral African monkey species are presently unknown, yet this information is essential to elucidate their origin and relationship to other simian and human immunodeficiency viruses. In this study, a combination of classical and molecular approaches were used to identify and characterize SIV isolates from West African green monkeys (Cercopithecus sabaeus) (SIVagm isolates). Four SIVagm viruses from wild-caught West African green monkeys were isolated and analyzed biologically and molecularly. Amplification, cloning, and sequencing of a 279-bp polymerase fragment directly from uncultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells was facilitated by the use of nested polymerase chain reaction. The results indicated that West African green monkeys are naturally infected with SIVs which are closely related to East African SIVagm isolates. However, structural, antigenic, and genetic differences were observed which strongly suggest that the West African green monkey viruses comprise a phylogenetically distinct subgroup of SIVagm. These findings support our previous hypothesis that SIVagm viruses may have evolved and diverged coincident with the evolution and divergence of their African green monkey host. In addition, this study describes a polymerase chain reaction-based approach that allows the identification and molecular analysis of divergent SIV strains directly from primary monkey tissue. This approach, which does not depend on virus isolation methods, should facilitate future studies aimed at elucidating the origins and natural history of SIVs in feral African green monkey populations

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1991
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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