Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 8437214
J. Virol. 1993 Mar;67(3):1227-35
Although up to 50% of African green monkeys (AGMs) are infected by simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIV) in their natural habitat, they remain asymptomatic carriers of these lentiviruses. They provide an attractive model to study not only the origin but also the link among genetic variation, host-virus adaptation, and pathogenicity of primate lentiviruses. SIVagm have been isolated from three species of AGM: the vervet (Cercopithecus pygerythrus), the grivet (Cercopithecus aethiops), and the sabaeus (Cercopithecus sabaeus) monkey. We studied four new SIVagm isolates from a fourth AGM species, the tantalus monkey (Cercopithecus tantalus), caught in the Central African Republic, and four new isolates from feral sabaeus monkeys from Senegal. Antigenic properties and partial env sequences were used to evaluate the diversity among these isolates. Alignment of env sequences in SIVagm isolated from tantalus and sabaeus monkeys permitted detailed mapping of the variable and conserved domains in the external glycoprotein. Genetic distances indicated that SIVagm isolates from tantalus monkeys are the most divergent among SIVagm in feral AGMs in Africa. The fact that AGMs are infected by four distinct lentiviruses, each specific for a single AGM species, supports the hypothesis of a coevolution of these viruses and their natural hosts and suggests that SIV transmission is a rare event among separated AGM species in the wild.