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We also show that AIDS has likely afflicted chimpanzees long before the emergence of HIV.
Tracing the genetic changes that occurred as SIVs crossed from monkeys to apes and from apes to humans provides a new framework to examine the requirements of successful host switches and to gauge future zoonotic risk. HIV-1 spreads by sexual, percutaneous, and perinatal routes (Hladik and Mc Elrath 2008; Cohen et al.
Exogenous viruses are depicted in black, with HIV-1, HIV-2, and SIVmac highlighted in red; endogenous viruses are shown in purple.
The phylogenetic tree was estimated using maximum likelihood methods (Guindon and Gascuel 2003).
2010), and it is tempting to speculate that less ubiquitous SIVs were acquired more recently and/or may be more pathogenic.
Here, we describe the origins and evolution of these viruses, and the circumstances that led to the AIDS pandemic.
Examples range from incidental “dead-end” infections (e.g., SIVver infections of baboons) (Jin et al. 1998) to the generation of new SIV lineages with substantial secondary spread (e.g., SIVgor infection of gorillas) (Van Heuverswyn et al. In addition, cross-species transmissions have generated mosaic SIV lineages through superinfection and recombination in species that already harbored an SIV (e.g., SIVsab infection of sabaeus monkeys) (Jin et al. In both mandrills (), such recombination events have led to the emergence of a second SIV strain that cocirculates with the original virus (Souquiere et al. What remains unknown is when and how often these cross-species transfers have occurred, what impact they had on virus and host biology, and whether AIDS is a frequent consequence of SIV host switching.
The prevalence of naturally occurring SIV infections varies widely, ranging from 1% in some species to over 50% in others (Aghokeng et al.
Both HIVs are the result of multiple cross-species transmissions of simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) naturally infecting African primates.
Most of these transfers resulted in viruses that spread in humans to only a limited extent.
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However, one transmission event, involving SIVcpz from chimpanzees in southeastern Cameroon, gave rise to HIV-1 group M—the principal cause of the AIDS pandemic.