Diverse contexts of zoonotic transmission of simian foamy viruses in Asia.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Emerging infectious diseases, Volume 14, Issue 8, p.1200-8 (2008)


2008, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Animals, Ape Diseases, Asia, Basic Sciences Division, Center-Authored Paper, DNA, Viral, Female, Genomics Core Facility, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Occupational Exposure, Phylogeny, Retroviridae Infections, Shared Resources, Simian foamy virus, Zoonoses


In Asia, contact between persons and nonhuman primates is widespread in multiple occupational and nonoccupational contexts. Simian foamy viruses (SFVs) are retroviruses that are prevalent in all species of nonhuman primates. To determine SFV prevalence in humans, we tested 305 persons who lived or worked around nonhuman primates in several South and Southeast Asian countries; 8 (2.6%) were confirmed SFV positive by Western blot and, for some, by PCR. The interspecies interactions that likely resulted in virus transmission were diverse; 5 macaque taxa were implicated as a potential source of infection. Phylogenetic analysis showed that SFV from 3 infected persons was similar to that from the nonhuman primate populations with which the infected persons reported contact. Thus, SFV infections are likely to be prevalent among persons who live or work near nonhuman primates in Asia.