Zoonotic simian foamy virus in Bangladesh reflects diverse patterns of transmission and co-infection

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Emerging Microbes & Infections, Volume 2 (2013)


2013, 258, 261, August 2014, bangladesh emerging infectious diseases retroviral recombination simian foamy virus zoonotic transmission cross-species transmission macaques macaca-fascicularis nonhuman-primates immunodeficiency virus infection population humans retroviruses epidemiolog, Basic Sciences Division, Public Health Sciences Division


Simian foamy viruses (SFVs) are ubiquitous in non-human primates (NHPs). As in all retroviruses, reverse transcription of SFV leads to recombination and mutation. Because more humans have been shown to be infected with SFV than with any other simian borne virus, SFV is a potentially powerful model for studying the virology and epidemiology of viruses at the human/NHP interface. In Asia, SFV is likely transmitted to humans through macaque bites and scratches that occur in the context of everyday life. We analyzed multiple proviral sequences from the SFV gag gene from both humans and macaques in order to characterize retroviral transmission at the human/NHP interface in Bangladesh. Here we report evidence that humans can be concurrently infected with multiple SFV strains, with some individuals infected by both an autochthonous SFV strain as well as a strain similar to SFV found in macaques from another geographic area. These data, combined with previous results, suggest that both human-facilitated movement of macaques leading to the introduction of non-resident strains of SFV and retroviral recombination in macaques contribute to SFV diversity among humans in Bangladesh.