1887

Abstract

A retrospective study spanning 20 years was undertaken to investigate the prevalence and modes of transmission of a simian T-cell lymphotropic virus (STLV) in a closed breeding colony of chimpanzees. Of the 197 animals tested, 22 had antibodies that were cross-reactive with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-I) antigens. The specificity of the antibody response was confirmed by Western blot analysis and the presence of a persistent virus infection was established by PCR analysis of DNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Sequence analysis revealed that the virus infecting these chimpanzees was not HTLV-I but STLV, a virus that naturally infects chimpanzees. The limited number of transmission events suggested that management practices of social housing of family units away from troops of mature males might have prevented the majority of cases of transmission. Evidence for transmission by blood-to-blood contact was documented clearly in at least one instance. In contrast, transmission from infected mother to child was not observed, suggesting that this is not a common route of transmission for STLV in this species, which is in contrast to HTLV-1 in humans.

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2003-03-01
2019-10-15
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