Steve Ahuka-Mundeke , Ahidjo Ayouba , Placide Mbala-Kingebeni , Florian Liegeois , Amandine Esteban , Octavie Lunguya-Metila , Didace Demba , Guy Bilulu , Valentin Mbenzo-Abokome , Bila-Isia Inogwabini , Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum , Eric Delaporte , Martine Peeters
This assay identified new simian immunodeficiency viruses in primate bushmeat.
Like most emerging infectious disease viruses, HIV is also of zoonotic origin. To assess the risk for cross-species transmission of simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) from nonhuman primates to humans in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we collected 330 samples derived from nonhuman primate bushmeat at 3 remote forest sites. SIV prevalences were estimated by using a novel high-throughput assay that included 34 HIV and SIV antigens in a single well. Overall, 19% of nonhuman primate bushmeat was infected with SIVs, and new SIV lineages were identified. Highest SIV prevalences were seen in red-tailed guenons (25%) and Tshuapa red colobus monkeys (24%), representing the most common hunted primate species, thus increasing the likelihood for cross-species transmission. Additional studies are needed to determine whether other SIVs crossed the species barrier. With the newly developed assay, large-scale screening against many antigens is now easier and faster.