Skip to comments.New Virus May Have Come from Monkeys, Experts Say
Posted on 02/26/2005 8:46:46 AM PST by austinite
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two new retroviruses never before seen in humans have turned up among people who regularly hunt monkeys in Cameroon, researchers reported on Friday.
Like the AIDS (news - web sites) virus, these viruses insert their genetic material directly into cells and perhaps even into a person's or animal's chromosomes. Closely related versions of the viruses cause leukemia, inflammatory and neurological diseases.
The two new viruses are called human T-lymphotropic virus types 3 and 4 or HTLV-3 and HTLV-4. They are closely related to two known viruses called HTLV-1 and HTLV-2, which experts believe were transmitted to people, like HIV (news - web sites), from monkeys and apes.
"Because HIV originated as a cross-species infection from a non-human primate virus, the question was how much cross-species retrovirus infections are occurring and what are the consequences of these infections," said Walid Hemeine of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites), who led the study.
They examined blood samples from 930 Cameroonians who had handled or eaten bush meat -- monkeys or apes hunted for food.
They used antibody screening and genetic analysis to find at least six different simian retroviruses had infected 13 of the people.
"Two hunters were infected with two previously unknown HTLV viruses. One person was infected with HTLV-3, which is genetically similar to a simian virus, STLV-3, and represents the first documented human infection with this virus," the researchers told the 12th Annual Retrovirus Conference being held in Boston.
"The second hunter was infected with HTLV-4, a virus distinct from all previously known human or simian T-lymphotropic viruses."
"It's totally new so we don't know any other simian virus that is related to it," Hemeine said in a telephone interview.
Now the team, which includes researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, plans to look more extensively in Central Africa for the virus, Hemeine said. "They could be more widespread than we think they are," he said.
Hemeine said up to 25 million people globally are infected with HTLV-1 and 2.
Currently, specialized tests are needed to find the viruses, he said.
"It's a new virus. You pause, you say, where is this virus coming from. I don't think you should be taking it lightly," Hemeine said.
After infecting one person, simian viruses often spread from person to person through sex, mother-to-child transmission, and other exchanges of blood and body fluids.
Like HIV, the incubation period for HTLV viruses to cause disease can last decades, the CDC said.
To quote Charleton Heston "Damned Dirty Apes!"
Call me naive, but there are still folks in the world who eat monkeys? I thought the U.N. allowed all of it's tinhorn African dictators the right to shoot poachers on site.
This chain of events is beyond description....how does a bushman hunting and eating infected monkeys in Africa turn into raging aids in San Francisco?....Mother Nature knows....
Just say "NO" to sex with monkeys...
When I was in the Ivory Coast 20 years ago, there were people along the road selling monkey........we never stopped.
The flesh of jungle animals and birds, such as tapir, money, ibis, peccary, venison, and agouti are common fare in the Darien. The flesh of these is often smoked before cooking. Fresh meat, however, can be boiled, roasted, or barbequed. It is also salted and dried in the sun for several days. Monkey meat is usually smoked for 24 hours before cooking, but a Darien housewife in a hurry to feed her hungry family may simply boil the meat in salted water until it is tender.
So, Monkey Stew is made by frying salted, smoked money lightly in hot oil, adding diced onions, then water and achiote. The stew is cooked until the meat is tender and sauce has thickened.
These meat dishes are often served with rice which has been cooked in coconut juice with the addition of onion and salt, or corn rolls (bollos) made by grinding and boiling green corn which is then formed into balls and wrapped in corn husks and boiled.
Umm.. The chain of events is not beyond description. It's actually very readily described, and accessible even via Google search..
Nice. Glad I am not single anymore.
Is Norton / McCaffee aware of this?
It probably had something to do with the East African custom of eating raw monkeys and drinking their blood as a delicacy..
Anti-society and mother nature at work.....
"Is Norton / McCaffee aware of this?"
It's all Micro$ofts fault!
The revenge of the monkey for man species out evolving them.
Monkeys and Chimpanzees are routinely eaten all over Central Africa; "Bush Meat."
The practice of Africans eating monkees, and East Asian poultry practices, may be a greater threat to the US than every Islamic terrorist in the world combined.
Contact through broken skin, a cut, a knife slips while butchering:
Its a blood as Bio-Hazmat scenario.
Probably the same hazards that might occur during surgery on an HIV patient.
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