Origin of the HIV-1 group O epidemic in western lowland gorillas.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: D'arc, Mirela; Ayouba, Ahidjo; Esteban, Amandine; Learn, Gerald H; Boué, Vanina; Liegeois, Florian; Etienne, Lucie; Tagg, Nikki; Leendertz, Fabian H; Boesch, Christophe; Madinda, Nadège F; Robbins, Martha M; Gray, Maryke; Cournil, Amandine; Ooms, Marcel; Letko, Michael; Simon, Viviana A; Sharp, Paul M; Hahn, Beatrice H; Delaporte, Eric; Mpoudi Ngole, Eitel; Peeters, Martine
Year of Publication: 2015
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Volume: 112
Issue: 11
Pagination: E1343-52
Date Published: 2015 Mar 17
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1091-6490
Keywords: Animals, Animals, Wild, Antibodies, Viral, Biological Evolution, Cameroon, Cytidine Deaminase, Epidemics, Feces, Genetic Variation, Genome, Geography, Gorilla gorilla, HIV-1, Humans, Molecular Sequence Data, Phylogeny, Proteolysis, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, Simian Immunodeficiency Virus

HIV-1, the cause of AIDS, is composed of four phylogenetic lineages, groups M, N, O, and P, each of which resulted from an independent cross-species transmission event of simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) infecting African apes. Although groups M and N have been traced to geographically distinct chimpanzee communities in southern Cameroon, the reservoirs of groups O and P remain unknown. Here, we screened fecal samples from western lowland (n = 2,611), eastern lowland (n = 103), and mountain (n = 218) gorillas for gorilla SIV (SIVgor) antibodies and nucleic acids. Despite testing wild troops throughout southern Cameroon (n = 14), northern Gabon (n = 16), the Democratic Republic of Congo (n = 2), and Uganda (n = 1), SIVgor was identified at only four sites in southern Cameroon, with prevalences ranging from 0.8-22%. Amplification of partial and full-length SIVgor sequences revealed extensive genetic diversity, but all SIVgor strains were derived from a single lineage within the chimpanzee SIV (SIVcpz) radiation. Two fully sequenced gorilla viruses from southwestern Cameroon were very closely related to, and likely represent the source population of, HIV-1 group P. Most of the genome of a third SIVgor strain, from central Cameroon, was very closely related to HIV-1 group O, again pointing to gorillas as the immediate source. Functional analyses identified the cytidine deaminase APOBEC3G as a barrier for chimpanzee-to-gorilla, but not gorilla-to-human, virus transmission. These data indicate that HIV-1 group O, which spreads epidemically in west central Africa and is estimated to have infected around 100,000 people, originated by cross-species transmission from western lowland gorillas.

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1502022112
Alternate Journal: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.