Lien vers Pubmed [PMID] – 16608518
Foamy viruses are exogenous complex retroviruses that are highly endemic in several animal species, including monkeys and apes, where they cause persistent infection. Simian foamy viral (SFV) infection has been reported in few persons occupationally exposed to non-human primates (NHP) in zoos, primate centers and laboratories, and recently in few hunters from central Africa. Most of the epidemiological works performed among NHP populations concern cross-sectional studies without long-term follow-up. Therefore, the exact timing and the modes of transmission of SFVs remain not well known, although sexual and oral transmissions have been suspected. We have conducted a longitudinal study in a free-breeding colony of Macaca tonkeana in order (1) to determine the prevalence of the infection by foamy viruses, (2) to characterize molecularly the viruses infecting such animals, (3) to study their genetic variability overtime by long-term follow-up of several DNA samples in a series of specific animals, and (4) to get new insights concerning the timing and the modes of SFVs primary infection in these monkeys by combining serology and molecular means, as well as studies of familial structures and long-term behavioral observations.