Virology journal

Horizontal acquisition and a broad biodistribution typify simian foamy virus infection in a cohort of Macaca fascicularis.

PMID 24180225


Foamy viruses are non-pathogenic in vivo and naturally infect all species of non-human primates (NHP). Simian foamy viruses (SFV) are highly prevalent in both free ranging and captive NHP but few longitudinal studies have been performed to assess the prevalence and biodistribution of SFV within captive NHP. LTR and pol gene along with Gag antibody detection were undertaken to identify infection in a cohort of over 80 captive macaques. The prevalence of SFV was between 64% and 94% in different groups. Access to 23 dam-infant pairs allowed us to reveal horizontal transfer as the dominant route of SFV transmission in our cohort. Further, analysis of SFV from a range of tissues and blood revealed that macaques as young as six months old can be infected and that proviral biodistribution increases with age. These are the first data of this type for a captive cohort of cynomolgus macaques.