Complete sequence of a novel highly divergent simian T-cell lymphotropic virus from wild-caught red-capped mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus) from Cameroon: a new primate T-lymphotropic virus type 3 subtype.
ABSTRACT: Among 65 samples obtained from a primate rescue center located in Cameroon, two female adult red-capped mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus) (CTO-602 and CTO-604), of wild-caught origin, had a peculiar human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 2 (HTLV-2)-like Western blot seroreactivity (p24, RGD21, +/-K55). Analyses of the simian T-cell lymphotropic virus type 3 (STLV-3)/CTO-604 complete proviral sequence (8,919 bp) indicated that this novel strain was highly divergent from HTLV-1 (60% nucleotide similarity), HTLV-2 (62%), or STLV-2 (62%) prototypes. It was, however, related to STLV-3/PH-969 (87%), a divergent STLV strain previously isolated from an Eritrean baboon. The STLV-3/CTO-604 sequence possesses the major open reading frames corresponding to the structural, enzymatic, and regulatory proteins. However, its long terminal repeat is shorter, with only two 21-bp repeats. Furthermore, as demonstrated by reverse transcriptase PCR, this new STLV exhibits significant differences from STLV-3/PH-969 at the mRNA splice junction position level. In all phylogenetic analyses, STLV-3/CTO-604 and STLV-3/PH-969 clustered in a highly supported single clade, indicating an evolutionary lineage independent from primate T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (PTLV-1) and PTLV-2. Nevertheless, the nucleotide divergence between STLV-3/PH-969 and STLV-3/CTO-604 is equivalent to or higher than the divergence observed between the different HTLV-1 or HTLV-2 subtypes. Thus, the STLV-3/CTO-604 strain can be considered the prototype of a second subtype in the PTLV-3 type. The presence of two related viruses in evolutionarily distantly related African monkeys species, living in two opposite ecosystems (rain forest versus desert), reinforces the possible African origin of PTLV and opens new avenues regarding the search for a possible human counterpart of these viruses in individuals exhibiting such HTLV-2-like seroreactivities.
Project description:Searching for clues to the evolution of the primate T-lymphotropic viruses (PTLVs), which include the human and the simian T-lymphotropic viruses (HTLV and STLV), we have identified another PTLV, which differs sufficiently from the known PTLV-I and PTLV-II types to be designated here PTLV-L. The virus was isolated from a wild-born baboon (Papio hamadryas) from Eritrea. In a cDNA library a 1802-bp-long fragment was identified that extends from the env region, including the complete transmembrane protein gene, to part of the tax/rex gene. Homologies at the nucleotide sequence level of PTLV-L, prototype simian T-lymphotropic virus-PH969, with HTLV-I and -II, respectively, were 62% and 64% overall, 65% and 70% in the env region, and 80% and 80% in the partial tax/rex sequence. In the 5' part of the pX region a significant homology was seen only with HTLV-II (52%). Phylogenetic analysis based on the gene encoding the transmembrane protein indicates that PTLV-L represents a PTLV type with a long independent evolution, longer than any strain within the PTLV-I or PTLV-II groups. The finding of another PTLV type in African baboons is further evidence of the wide variety of PTLV found on this continent. Whether PTLV-L resembles PTLV-I and PTLV-II in the extension of its host range to other primates, including humans, remains to be seen.
Project description:Virus transmission from various wild and domestic animals contributes to an increased risk of emerging infectious diseases in human populations. HTLV-1 is a human retrovirus associated with acute T-cell leukemia and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). HTLV-1 originated from ancient zoonotic transmission from nonhuman primates, although cases of zoonotic infections continue to occur. Similar to HTLV-1, the simian counterpart, STLV-1, causes chronic infection and leukemia and lymphoma in naturally infected monkeys, and combined are called primate T-lymphotropic viruses (PTLV-1). However, other clinical syndromes typically seen in humans such as a chronic progressive myelopathy have not been observed in nonhuman primates. Little is known about the development of neurologic and inflammatory diseases in human populations infected with STLV-1-like viruses following nonhuman primate exposure.We performed detailed laboratory analyses on an HTLV-1 seropositive patient with typical HAM/TSP who was born in Liberia and now resides in the United States. Using a novel droplet digital PCR for the detection of the HTLV-1 tax gene, the proviral load in PBMC and cerebrospinal fluid cells was 12.98 and 51.68 %, respectively; however, we observed a distinct difference in fluorescence amplitude of the positive droplet population suggesting possible mutations in proviral DNA. A complete PTLV-1 proviral genome was amplified from the patient's PBMC DNA using an overlapping PCR strategy. Phylogenetic analysis of the envelope and LTR sequences showed the virus was highly related to PTLV-1 from sooty mangabey monkeys (smm) and humans exposed via nonhuman primates in West Africa.These results demonstrate the patient is infected with a simian variant of PTLV-1, suggesting for the first time that PTLV-1smm infection in humans may be associated with a chronic progressive neurologic disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Primate T-lymphotropic viruses type 1 (PTLV-1) are complex retroviruses infecting both human (HTLV-1) and simian (STLV-1) hosts. They share common epidemiological, clinical and molecular features. In addition to the canonical gag, pol, env retroviral genes, PTLV-1 purportedly encodes regulatory (i.e. Tax, Rex, and HBZ) and accessory proteins (i.e. P12/8, P13, P30). The latter have been found essential for viral persistence in vivo. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:We have isolated a STLV-1 virus from a bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata-Mra18C9), a monkey from India. The complete sequence was obtained and phylogenetic analyses were performed. The Mra18C9 strain is highly divergent from the known PTLV-1 strains. Intriguingly, the Mra18C9 lacks the 3 accessory open reading frames. In order to determine if the absence of accessory proteins is specific to this particular strain, a comprehensive analysis of the complete PTLV-1 genomes available in Genbank was performed and found that the lack of one or many accessory ORF is common among PTLV-1. CONCLUSION:This study raises many questions regarding the actual nature, role and importance of accessory proteins in the PTLV-1 biology.
Project description:The recent discoveries of novel human T-lymphotropic virus type 3 (HTLV-3) and highly divergent simian T-lymphotropic virus type 3 (STLV-3) subtype D viruses from two different monkey species in southern Cameroon suggest that the diversity and cross-species transmission of these retroviruses are much greater than currently appreciated.We describe here the first full-length sequence of a highly divergent STLV-3d(Cmo8699AB) virus obtained by PCR-based genome walking using DNA from two dried blood spots (DBS) collected from a wild-caught Cercopithecus mona monkey. The genome of STLV-3d(Cmo8699AB) is 8913-bp long and shares only 77% identity to other PTLV-3s. Phylogenetic analyses using Bayesian and maximum likelihood inference clearly show that this highly divergent virus forms an independent lineage with high posterior probability and bootstrap support within the diversity of PTLV-3. Molecular dating of concatenated gag-pol-env-tax sequences inferred a divergence date of about 115,117 years ago for STLV-3d(Cmo8699AB) indicating an ancient origin for this newly identified lineage. Major structural, enzymatic, and regulatory gene regions of STLV-3d(Cmo8699AB) are intact and suggest viral replication and a predicted pathogenic potential comparable to other PTLV-3s.When taken together, the inferred ancient origin of STLV-3d(Cmo8699AB), the presence of this highly divergent virus in two primate species from the same geographical region, and the ease with which STLVs can be transmitted across species boundaries all suggest that STLV-3d may be more prevalent and widespread. Given the high human exposure to nonhuman primates in this region and the unknown pathogenicity of this divergent PTLV-3, increased surveillance and expanded prevention activities are necessary. Our ability to obtain the complete viral genome from DBS also highlights further the utility of this method for molecular-based epidemiologic studies.
Project description:A third type of primate T-lymphotropic virus, PTLV-L, with STLV-PH969 as a prototype, has recently been isolated from an African baboon (Papio hamadryas). Classification of this virus has been based on partial sequence analysis of cDNA from a virus-producing cell line, PH969. We obtained the complete nucleotide sequence of this virus with a proviral genome of 8,916 bp. All major genes, homologous in all human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV)-related viruses, and their corresponding mRNAs, including appropriate splicing, were identified. One additional nonhomologous open reading frame in the proximal pX region is accessible for translation through alternative splicing. Sequence comparison shows that STLV-PH969 is equidistantly related to HTLV type 1 (HTLV-1) and HTLV-2. In all coding regions, the similarity tends to be the lowest between STLV-PH969 and HTLV-1. However, in the long terminal repeat (LTR) region, the lowest similarity was found between STLV-PH969 and HTLV-2. The U3-R and R-U5 boundaries of the STLV-PH969 LTR were experimentally determined at nucleotides 268 and 524, respectively. This 695-bp LTR is 60 and 73 bp shorter than the LTRs of HTLV-1 and HTLV-2, respectively, but its general organization is similar to the one found in the HTLV-bovine leukemia virus genus. In the long region between the polyadenylation signal and the poly(A) site, sequence similarity with the HTLV-1 Rex-responsive element (RexRE) core and secondary structure prediction suggest the presence of a RexRE. The presence of three 21-bp repeats is conserved within the U3 region of HTLV-1, HTLV-2, and BLV. Only two direct repeats with similarity to these Tax-responsive elements were found in the STLV-PH969 LTR, which might suggest differences in the Tax-mediated transactivation of this virus. We conclude that STLV-PH969 has all the genes and genomic regions to suggest a replication cycle comparable to that of HTLV-1 and HTLV-2.
Project description:Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and HTLV-2 encode auxiliary proteins that play important roles in viral replication, viral latency, and immune escape. The presence of auxiliary protein-encoding open reading frames (ORFs) in HTLV-3, the latest HTLV to be discovered, is unknown. Simian T-cell lymphotropic virus type 3 (STLV-3) is almost identical to HTLV-3. Given the lack of HTLV-3-infected cell lines, we took advantage of STLV-3-infected cells and of an STLV-3 molecular clone to search for the presence of auxiliary transcripts. Using reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR), we first uncovered the presence of three unknown viral mRNAs encoding putative proteins of 5, 8, and 9 kDa and confirmed the presence of the previously reported RorfII transcript. The existence of these viral mRNAs was confirmed by using splice site-specific RT-PCR with ex vivo samples. We showed that p5 is distributed throughout the cell and does not colocalize with a specific organelle. The p9 localization is similar to that of HTLV-1 p12 and induced a strong decrease in the calreticulin signal, similarly to HTLV-1 p12. Although p8, RorfII, and Rex-3 share an N-terminal sequence that is predicted to contain a nucleolar localization signal (NoLS), only p8 is found in the nucleolus. The p8 location in the nucleolus is linked to a bipartite NoLS. p8 and, to a lesser extent, p9 repressed viral expression but did not alter Rex-3-dependent mRNA export. Using a transformation assay, we finally showed that none of the STLV-3 auxiliary proteins had the ability to induce colony formation, while both Tax-3 and antisense protein of HTLV-3 (APH-3) promoted cellular transformation. Altogether, these results complete the characterization of the newly described primate T-lymphotropic virus type 3 (PTLV-3).Together with their simian counterparts, HTLVs form the primate T-lymphotropic viruses. HTLVs arose from interspecies transmission between nonhuman primates and humans. HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 encode auxiliary proteins that play important roles in viral replication, viral latency, and immune escape. The presence of ORFs encoding auxiliary proteins in HTLV-3 or STLV-3 genomes was unknown. Using in silico analyses, ex vivo samples, or in vitro experiments, we have uncovered the presence of 3 previously unknown viral mRNAs encoding putative proteins and confirmed the presence of a previously reported viral transcript. We characterized the intracellular localization of the four proteins. We showed that two of these proteins repress viral expression but that none of them have the ability to induce colony formation. However, both Tax and the antisense protein APH-3 promote cell transformation. Our results allowed us to characterize 4 new retroviral proteins for the first time.
Project description:There are currently four known primate T-cell lymphotropic virus groups (PTLV1-4), each of which comprises closely related simian (STLV) and human (HTLV) viruses. For PTLV-1 and PTLV-3, simian and human viruses are interspersed, suggesting multiple cross-species transmission events; however, for PTLV-2 this is not so clear because HTLV-2 and STLV-2 strains from captive bonobos (Pan paniscus) form two distinct clades. To determine to what extent bonobos are naturally infected with STLV, we screened fecal samples (n?=?633) from wild-living bonobos (n?=?312) at six different sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the presence of STLV nucleic acids. STLV infection was detected in 8 of 312 bonobos at four of six field sites, suggesting an overall prevalence of 2.6% (ranging from 0 to 8%). Six samples contained STLV-2, while the two others contained STLV-3, as determined by phylogenetic analysis of partial tax and Long Terminal Repeats (LTR) sequences. The new STLV-2 sequences were highly diverse, but grouped with previously identified STLV-2 strains as a sister clade to HTLV-2. In contrast, the new STLV-3 sequences did not cluster together, but were more closely related to STLVs from sympatric monkey species. These results show for the first time that fecal samples can be used to detect STLV infection in apes. These results also show that wild-living bonobos are endemically infected with STLV-2, but have acquired STLV-3 on at least two occasions most likely by cross-species transmission from monkey species on which they prey. Future studies of bonobos and other non-human primate species in Central Africa are needed to identify the simian precursor of HTLV-2 in humans.
Project description:Human T-lymphotropic virus type 4 (HTLV-4) is a new deltaretrovirus recently identified in a primate hunter in Cameroon. Limited sequence analysis previously showed that HTLV-4 may be distinct from HTLV-1, HTLV-2, and HTLV-3, and their simian counterparts, STLV-1, STLV-2, and STLV-3, respectively. Analysis of full-length genomes can provide basic information on the evolutionary history and replication and pathogenic potential of new viruses.We report here the first complete HTLV-4 sequence obtained by PCR-based genome walking using uncultured peripheral blood lymphocyte DNA from an HTLV-4-infected person. The HTLV-4(1863LE) genome is 8791-bp long and is equidistant from HTLV-1, HTLV-2, and HTLV-3 sharing only 62-71% nucleotide identity. HTLV-4 has a prototypic genomic structure with all enzymatic, regulatory, and structural proteins preserved. Like STLV-2, STLV-3, and HTLV-3, HTLV-4 is missing a third 21-bp transcription element found in the long terminal repeats of HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 but instead contains unique c-Myb and pre B-cell leukemic transcription factor binding sites. Like HTLV-2, the PDZ motif important for cellular signal transduction and transformation in HTLV-1 and HTLV-3 is missing in the C-terminus of the HTLV-4 Tax protein. A basic leucine zipper (b-ZIP) region located in the antisense strand of HTLV-1 and believed to play a role in viral replication and oncogenesis, was also found in the complementary strand of HTLV-4. Detailed phylogenetic analysis shows that HTLV-4 is clearly a monophyletic viral group. Dating using a relaxed molecular clock inferred that the most recent common ancestor of HTLV-4 and HTLV-2/STLV-2 occurred 49,800 to 378,000 years ago making this the oldest known PTLV lineage. Interestingly, this period coincides with the emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens during the Middle Pleistocene suggesting that early humans may have been susceptible hosts for the ancestral HTLV-4.The inferred ancient origin of HTLV-4 coinciding with the appearance of Homo sapiens, the propensity of STLVs to cross-species into humans, the fact that HTLV-1 and -2 spread globally following migrations of ancient populations, all suggest that HTLV-4 may be prevalent. Expanded surveillance and clinical studies are needed to better define the epidemiology and public health importance of HTLV-4 infection.
Project description:The human T-lymphotropic viruses (HTLVs) types 1 and 2 originated independently and are related to distinct lineages of simian T-lymphotropic viruses (STLV-1 and STLV-2, respectively). These facts, along with the finding that HTLV-1 diversity appears to have resulted from multiple cross-species transmissions of STLV-1, suggest that contact between humans and infected nonhuman primates (NHPs) may result in HTLV emergence. We investigated the diversity of HTLV among central Africans reporting contact with NHP blood and body fluids through hunting, butchering, and keeping primate pets. We show that this population is infected with a wide variety of HTLVs, including two previously unknown retroviruses: HTLV-4 is a member of a phylogenetic lineage that is distinct from all known HTLVs and STLVs; HTLV-3 falls within the phylogenetic diversity of STLV-3, a group not previously seen in humans. We also document human infection with multiple STLV-1-like viruses. These results demonstrate greater HTLV diversity than previously recognized and suggest that NHP exposure contributes to HTLV emergence. Our discovery of unique and divergent HTLVs has implications for HTLV diagnosis, blood screening, and potential disease development in infected persons. The findings also indicate that cross-species transmission is not the rate-limiting step in pandemic retrovirus emergence and suggest that it may be possible to predict and prevent disease emergence by surveillance of populations exposed to animal reservoirs and interventions to decrease risk factors, such as primate hunting.
Project description:Human T-cell Leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and type 2 (HTLV-2) are pathogenic retroviruses that infect humans and cause severe hematological and neurological diseases. Both viruses have simian counterparts (STLV-1 and STLV-2). STLV-3 belongs to a third group of lymphotropic viruses which infect numerous African monkeys species. Among 240 Cameroonian plasma tested for the presence of HTLV-1 and/or HTLV-2 antibodies, 48 scored positive by immunofluorescence. Among those, 27 had indeterminate western-blot pattern. PCR amplification of pol and tax regions, using HTLV-1, -2 and STLV-3 highly conserved primers, demonstrated the presence of a new human retrovirus in one DNA sample. tax (180 bp) and pol (318 bp) phylogenetic analyses demonstrated the strong relationships between the novel human strain (Pyl43) and STLV-3 isolates from Cameroon. The virus, that we tentatively named HTLV-3, originated from a 62 years old Bakola Pygmy living in a remote settlement in the rain forest of Southern Cameroon. The plasma was reactive on MT2 cells but was negative on C19 cells. The HTLV 2.4 western-blot exhibited a strong reactivity to p19 and a faint one to MTA-1. On the INNO-LIA strip, it reacted faintly with the generic p19 (I/II), but strongly to the generic gp46 (I/II) and to the specific HTLV-2 gp46. The molecular relationships between Pyl43 and STLV-3 are thus not paralleled by the serological results, as most of the STLV-3 infected monkeys have an "HTLV-2 like" WB pattern. In the context of the multiple interspecies transmissions which occurred in the past, and led to the present-day distribution of the PTLV-1, it is thus very tempting to speculate that this newly discovered human retrovirus HTLV-3 might be widespread, at least in the African continent.