Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: The ancestry of HIV-1 human immunodeficiency virus—1 has been traced to SIVcpz simian immunodeficiency virus infecting chim-panzees Pan troglodytes ] in west central Africa [1][1] , but the origin of SIVcpz itself remains unknown.

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The AIDS-causing HIV virus is a hybrid of two monkey pathogens that swapped genes inside a chimpanzee, becoming the deadly global epidemic it is today, an international team of scientists report.

But the origin of SIVcpz itself has been a mystery. Bailes and her team carried out extensive phylogenetic analyses comparing the structure of different strains of SIV to investigate the question. They concluded that the SIVcpz strain arose in chimpanzees through a series of transmission and recombination or genetic exchange events between SIVs in two species of monkeys: red-capped mangabeys and greater spot-nosed monkeys.

Bailes and colleagues note that chimpanzees prey on both of these species, and their territorial ranges overlap in west central Africa. Julian Cribb, an Australian science writer and author of a book on the origin of AIDS, believes there is no evidence to support the idea that SIVcpz arose as a result of chimpanzees eating monkeys. Apart from suggesting the current strains of HIV are likely to recombine in an unpredictable fashion - making the task of developing vaccines and treatments even more challenging than it already is - Cribb believes the findings have important implications for our understanding of retroviruses, the group of viruses to which SIV and HIV belong.

SIV is harmless in African monkeys. When it transmutes into HIV, it becomes one of the worse killers of human beings and Asian monkeys. AIDS: Where are we now? Secrets of the inner ear exposed. Gamers wired into social networks. Party animal? Don't blame your genes. Friday, 13 June


Hybrid origin of SIV in chimpanzees

Studies of primate lentiviruses continue to provide information about the evolution of simian immunodeficiency viruses SIVs and the origin and emergence of HIV since chimpanzees in west—central Africa Pan troglodytes troglodytes were recognized as the reservoir of SIVcpz Ptt viruses, which have been related phylogenetically to HIV Further field studies with non-invasive methods are needed to determine the prevalence, geographic distribution, species association, and natural history of SIVcpz strains in the chimpanzee habitat in Gabon. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The funders had no role in study design, data collection or analysis, the decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing interests: The authors received funding from a commercial source Total-Gabon.

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Hybrid origin of SIV in chimpanzees.

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Hybrid Origin of SIV in Chimpanzees

All rights reserved. Scientists now say that the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV in chimpanzees Pan troglodytes , which is believed to have been transmitted to humans to become HIV-1—the virus that causes AIDS—didn't start its life in chimps. Instead, it was a product of separate viruses jumping from different monkey species into chimps, where they recombined to form a hybrid virus, according to a new study. Researchers believe the chimpanzee virus is a hybrid of the SIVs naturally infecting two different monkeys, the red-capped mangabey Cercocebus torquatus and the greater spot-nosed monkey Cercopithecus nictitans.

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