Both HIV-1 and HIV-2 are of zoonotic origin , and the closest simian relatives of HIV-1 and HIV-2 have been found in the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the sooty mangabey (Cercocebus atys) respectively. Given that humans come in frequent contact with primates in many parts of subsaharan Africa, particularly through hunting and handling primate bushmeat the possibility of additional zoonotic transfers of primate lentiviruses from species other than chimpanzees and sooty mangabeys has to be considered. This risk can only be assessed by studying the prevalence, diversity and geographic distribution of SIVinfections in wild primate populations in this part of the world.
A team of researchers from IRD and projet PRESICA working with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry from Cameroon, realized the first comprehensive survey on siv prevalences in wild caught primates from cameroon, and provide a first approximation of the magnitude and variety of sivs to which humans are exposed to through contact with non-human primates.
Nearly 800 monkeys , hunted in the rainforests, and subsequently sold for their meat on markets in Yaound, surrounding villages and logging concessions, or kept as pets were tested for hiv cross-reactive antibodies. Strong serological reaction, indicating infection by an SIV, was found in 16.6% of the monkeys sampled. Out of 16 species, 13 were infected. Four of these had previously not been identified a
Contact: Hlne Deval
Institut de Recherche Pour le Dveloppement