Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 19879975
Infect. Genet. Evol. 2010 Jan;10(1):1-13
The Gammaherpesvirinae sub-family is divided into two genera: Lymphocryptovirus and Rhadinovirus. Until the middle of the 1990s, the Rhadinovirus genus was only represented by Herpesvirus saimiri and Herpesvirus ateles, which infect New World monkey species. Until the year 2000, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the human prototype of the Lymphocryptovirus, and simian homologues had only been detected in humans and Old World non-human primates. It was thought, therefore, that the separation of the continents had resulted in drastic changes in Gammaherpesvirinae evolution. The discovery of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus in humans, belonging to the Rhadinovirus, followed by the identification of CalHV3 (Callitrichine herpesvirus 3), a lymphocryptovirus of the marmoset, challenged this paradigm. The description of numerous viruses belonging to this sub-family from various Old and New World primate species enabled a cospeciation hypothesis for these viruses and their hosts to be developed. This review focuses on the current knowledge of primate Gammaherpesvirinae genetic diversity and molecular evolution. We discuss the various theories based on current genetic data regarding evolutionary relationships between lymphocryptoviruses of Old World primates, the use of these data as a tool to study evolutionary relationships between New World monkey species, and the possible existence of a ninth human herpesvirus belonging to the Rhadinovirus genus.