Socio-ethological studies on troops of African green monkeys (AGMs) () and patas monkeys () in Senegal have documented physical contacts between these two species. Elevated simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) seroprevalence rates have been reported for the different AGM subspecies. We report here the extent to which patas monkeys are infected and compare the relatedness of the viruses isolated from these two different species. Among the 85 AGMs and 54 patas monkeys studied, 47% and 7.5%, respectively, had antibodies that cross-reacted with HIV-2 envelope proteins. From two AGMs a virus was isolated. From the patas monkeys, virus isolation was generally not possible, but from one animal that was ill a virus designated pamG31 was amplified by PCR. In addition, for the two SIVagm isolates, an 830 bp region spanning the and genes was amplified and sequenced. Comparisons of sequences from the region revealed 80% identity between pamG31 and SIVagm isolates from AGMs of the subspecies, and 94% identity between the two SIVagm isolates. Phylogenetic analysis showed that pamG31 belongs to the SIVagm subgroup. This is the first report of a lentiviral infection in a patas monkey. The close genetic relatedness between pamG31 and SIVagm viruses is a strong argument in favour of cross-species transmission of SIV between AGMs and patas monkeys in the wild. For these reasons, we propose to refer to this patas virus as SIVagm-pamG31.


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