Ancient, independent evolution and distinct molecular features of the novel human T-lymphotropic virus type 4.
ABSTRACT: 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 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: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:Three types of human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV)-simian T-cell leukemia virus (STLV) (collectively called primate T-cell leukemia viruses [PTLVs]) have been characterized, with evidence for zoonotic origin from primates for HTLV type 1 (HTLV-1) and HTLV-2 in Africa. To assess human exposure to STLVs in western Central Africa, we screened for STLV infection in primates hunted in the rain forests of Cameroon. Blood was obtained from 524 animals representing 18 different species. All the animals were wild caught between 1999 and 2002; 328 animals were sampled as bush meat and 196 were pets. Overall, 59 (11.2%) of the primates had antibodies cross-reacting with HTLV-1 and/or HTLV-2 antigens; HTLV-1 infection was confirmed in 37 animals, HTLV-2 infection was confirmed in 9, dual HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 infection was confirmed in 10, and results for 3 animals were indeterminate. Prevalences of infection were significantly lower in pets than in bush meat, 1.5 versus 17.0%, respectively. Discriminatory PCRs identified STLV-1, STLV-3, and STLV-1 and STLV-3 in HTLV-1-, HTLV-2-, and HTLV-1- and HTLV-2-cross-reactive samples, respectively. We identified for the first time STLV-1 sequences in mustached monkeys (Cercopithecus cephus), talapoins (Miopithecus ogouensis), and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and confirmed STLV-1 infection in mandrills, African green monkeys, agile mangabeys, and crested mona and greater spot-nosed monkeys. STLV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) and env sequences revealed that the strains belonged to different PTLV-1 subtypes. A high prevalence of PTLV infection was observed among agile mangabeys (Cercocebus agilis); 89% of bush meat was infected with STLV. Cocirculation of STLV-1 and STLV-3 and STLV-1-STLV-3 coinfections were identified among the agile mangabeys. Phylogenetic analyses of partial LTR sequences indicated that the agile mangabey STLV-3 strains were more related to the STLV-3 CTO604 strain isolated from a red-capped mangabey (Cercocebus torquatus) from Cameroon than to the STLV-3 PH969 strain from an Eritrean baboon or the PPA-F3 strain from a baboon in Senegal. Our study documents for the first time that (i) a substantial proportion of wild-living monkeys in Cameroon is STLV infected, (ii) STLV-1 and STLV-3 cocirculate in the same primate species, (iii) coinfection with STLV-1 and STLV-3 occurs in agile mangabeys, and (iv) humans are exposed to different STLV-1 and STLV-3 subtypes through handling primates as bush meat.
Project description: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:Human T-lymphotropic virus type 3 (HTLV-3) is a new virus recently identified in two primate hunters in Central Africa. Limited sequence analysis shows that HTLV-3 is distinct from HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 but is genetically similar to simian T-lymphotropic virus type 3 (STLV-3). We report here the first complete HTLV-3 sequence obtained by PCR-based genome walking using uncultured peripheral blood lymphocytes from an HTLV-3-infected person. The HTLV-3(2026ND) genome is 8,917 bp long and is genetically equidistant from HTLV-1 and HTLV-2, sharing about 62% identity. Phylogenetic analysis of all gene regions confirms this relationship and shows that HTLV-3 falls within the diversity of STLV-3, suggesting a primate origin. However, HTLV-3(2026ND) is unique, sharing only 87% to 92% sequence identity with STLV-3. SimPlot and phylogenetic analysis did not reveal any evidence of genetic recombination with either HTLV-1, HTLV-2, or STLV-3. Molecular dating estimates that the ancestor of HTLV-3 is as old as HTLV-1 and HTLV-2, with an inferred divergence time of 36,087 to 54,067 years ago. HTLV-3 has a prototypic genomic structure, with all enzymatic, regulatory, and structural proteins preserved. Like STLV-3, HTLV-3 is missing a third 21-bp transcription element found in the long terminal repeats of HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 but instead contains a unique activator protein-1 transcription factor upstream of the 21-bp repeat elements. A PDZ motif, like that in HTLV-1, which is important for cellular signal transduction and transformation, is present in the C terminus of the HTLV-3 Tax protein. A basic leucine zipper region located in the antisense strand of HTLV-1, believed to play a role in viral replication and oncogenesis, was also found in the complementary strand of HTLV-3. The ancient origin of HTLV-3, the broad distribution of STLV-3 in Africa, and the propensity of STLVs to cross species into humans all suggest that HTLV-3 may be prevalent and support the need for expanded surveillance for this virus.
Project description:Four primate (PTLV), human (HTLV) and simian (STLV) T-cell leukemia virus types, have been characterized thus far, with evidence of a simian zoonotic origin for HTLV-1, HTLV-2 and HTLV-3 in Africa. The PTLV envelope glycoprotein surface component (SUgp46) comprises a receptor-binding domain (RBD) that alternates hypervariable and highly conserved sequences. To further delineate highly conserved motifs in PTLV RBDs, we investigated the intrahost variability of HTLV-1 and STLV-1 by generating and sequencing libraries of DNA fragments amplified within the RBD of the SUgp46 env gene. Using new and highly cross-reactive env primer pairs, we observed the presence of Env quasispecies in HTLV-1 infected individuals and STLV-1 naturally infected macaques, irrespective of the clinical status. These intrahost variants helped us to define highly conserved residues and motifs in the RBD. The new highly sensitive env PCR described here appears suitable for the screening of all known variants of the different PTLV types and should, therefore, be useful for the analysis of seroindeterminate samples.
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:Four types of human T cell lymphotropic viruses (HTLV) have been described (HTLV-1 to HTLV-4) with three of them having closely related simian virus analogues named STLV-1, -2, and -3. To assess the risk of cross-species transmissions of STLVs from nonhuman primates to humans in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a total of 330 samples, derived from primate bushmeat, were collected at remote forest sites where people rely on bushmeat for subsistence. STLV prevalences and genetic diversity were estimated by PCR and sequence analysis of tax-rex and LTR fragments. Overall, 7.9% of nonhuman primate bushmeat is infected with STLVs. We documented new STLV-1 and STLV-3 variants in six out of the seven species tested and showed for the first time STLV infection in C. mona wolfi, C. ascanius whitesidei, L. aterrimus aterrimus, C. angolensis, and P. tholloni. Our results provide increasing evidence that the diversity and geographic distribution of PTLVs are much greater than previously thought.
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: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.