Primate viruses transmitted to people through bushmeat

FV antibodies, which were detected in 10 of the samples. Individuals were identified as being infected with viruses from three different primate species, which included De Brazza's guenon, mandrill and gorilla. De Brazza's and mandrill are also naturally infected with simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIV), the same class of viruses from which HIV originated. It is not known if SFV is harmful to humans nor whether it can be transferred from person to person or through blood transfusions. Further research on these questions is ongoing.

"The SFV infections in this study were from several geographically isolated locations. This suggests that, contrary to conventional wisdom, retroviral zoonosis is widespread and arising from various locations where people are naturally exposed to mandrills, gorillas and other monkeys and apes," said Donald S. Burke, MD, co-author of the study and a professor of International Health and Epidemiology at the School of Public Health.


Contact: Tim Parsons or Kenna Brigham
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

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