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J Virol. 1994 December; 68(12): 8454–8460.
PMCID: PMC237322

Infection of a yellow baboon with simian immunodeficiency virus from African green monkeys: evidence for cross-species transmission in the wild.


Many African primates are known to be naturally infected with simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs), but only a fraction of these viruses has been molecularly characterized. One primate species for which only serological evidence of SIV infection has been reported is the yellow baboon (Papio hamadryas cynocephalus). Two wild-living baboons with strong SIVAGM seroreactivity were previously identified in a Tanzanian national park where baboons and African green monkeys shared the same habitat (T. Kodama, D. P. Silva, M. D. Daniel, J. E. Phillips-Conroy, C. J. Jolly, J. Rogers, and R. C. Desrosiers, AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses 5:337-343, 1989). To determine the genetic identity of the viruses infecting these animals, we used PCR to examine SIV sequences directly in uncultured leukocyte DNA. Targeting two different, nonoverlapping genomic regions, we amplified and sequenced a 673-bp gag gene fragment and a 908-bp env gene fragment from one of the two baboons. Phylo-genetic analyses revealed that this baboon was infected with an SIVAGM strain of the vervet subtype. These results provide the first direct evidence for simian-to-simian cross-species transmission of SIV in the wild.

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