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A novel simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) sequence has been recovered from RNA extracted from the serum of a mona monkey (Cercopithecus mona) wild born in Nigeria. The sequence was obtained by using novel generic (degenerate) PCR primers and spans from two-thirds into the gag gene to the 3' poly(A) tail of the SIVmonNG1 RNA genome. Analysis of the open reading frames revealed that the SIVmonNG1 genome codes for a Vpu protein, in addition to Gag, Pol, Vif, Vpr, Tat, Rev, Env, and Nef proteins. Previously, only lentiviruses infecting humans (human immunodeficiency virus type 1 [HIV-1]) and chimpanzees (SIVcpz) were known to have a vpu gene; more recently, this has also been found in SIVgsn from Cercopithecus nictitans. Overall, SIVmonNG1 most closely resembles SIVgsn: the env gene sequence groups with HIV-1/SIVcpz env sequences, whereas the pol gene sequence clusters closely with the pol sequence of SIVsyk from Cercopithecus albogaris. By bootscanning and similarity plotting, the first half of pol resembles SIVsyk, whereas the latter part is closer to SIVcol from Colobus guereza. The similarities between the complex mosaic genomes of SIVmonNG1 and SIVgsn are consistent with a shared or common lineage. These data further highlight the intricate nature of the relationships between the SIVs from different primate species and will be helpful for unraveling these associations.


Katrina L Barlow, Adebowale Oluwafemi Ajao, Jonathan P Clewley. Characterization of a novel simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVmonNG1) genome sequence from a mona monkey (Cercopithecus mona). Journal of virology. 2003 Jun;77(12):6879-88

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PMID: 12768007

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