Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Simian foamy virus found in several people living and working with monkeys in Asia

04.08.2008
A research team led by University of Washington scientists has found that several people in South and Southeast Asian countries working and living around monkeys have been infected with simian foamy virus (SFV), a primate virus that, to date, has not been shown to cause human disease.

The findings provide more evidence that Asia, where interaction between people and monkeys is common and widespread, could be an important setting for future primate-to-human viral transmission. The study appears in the August issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Disease.

Though SFV has not been found to cause any human disease, it is a slow-acting retrovirus, so it could take many years before scientists determine the effects of infection. SFV could also change at the genetic level, resulting in a new strain of the virus that would affect humans. Scientists believe that a similar process occurred with HIV, which probably originated as a virus in non-human primates in Africa before jumping the species barrier to human hosts.

In this study, researchers from the University of Washington visited several countries in Asia, interviewing and testing about 300 people who live or work closely with any one of several species of small-bodied monkeys called macaques. Eight of those participants tested positive for SFV.

... more about:
»HIV »SFV »Virus »macaque

The people who had contracted the virus came from a variety of places and contexts: one person lived in an urban area in Bangladesh that had a large monkey population, for instance, while two other people lived near a monkey temple in Thailand. Monkey temples are places of religious worship that have become refuges for populations of primates.

Though much of the research on viral transmission between humans and other primates has focused on Africa, UW researcher Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel has led multiple studies examining the issue in Asia. Some Asian countries are prime areas for viral transmission between monkeys and humans, she explained, because of the huge populations of both and the widespread interaction between the species. People are in close contact with monkeys in many settings in Asia: in cities, religious temples, open-air markets, street performances, nature preserves, hunting areas, zoos, and even homes, where monkeys are kept as pets.

"So much of the focus on this issue has been in Africa, but there, the interface between humans and other primates is decreasing," said Jones-Engel, a senior research scientist in the Division of International Programs at the UW's Washington National Primate Research Center. "The intensity of bush meat hunting and infectious diseases have taken a huge toll on primate populations there. Individuals in Africa who are interacting with other primates are often very isolated from other humans – they live in small, rural villages, which limits the potential spread of pathogens."

In Asia, however, monkeys are often respected or revered because of cultural and religious traditions. The rapid expansion of cities and the decline of wild habitats have driven many monkey populations into urban areas, Jones-Engel said, where they interact more closely with large, interconnected populations of people.

In one state in northern India, for example, researchers estimate that more than a quarter-million rhesus macaques, or about 86 percent of the wild population, live in urban areas because of habitat loss. Unlike the great apes, such as chimpanzees or gorillas, rhesus macaques and other species of monkeys are very adaptable to new habitats.

"Some macaque species thrive in human-altered environments, given the tolerance of the local people," said Dr. Gregory Engel, clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the UW and a co-author on this study.

The group's findings support the notion that viral transmission could occur in any one of many settings in Asia, from religious temples to urban areas, and that the issue could affect many different people, from temple workers to pet owners. One of the people infected was a farmer in Thailand who had trained monkeys to help him harvest coconuts.

"This is a heterogeneous sample – subjects reported contact with primates in a variety of contexts," explained Gregory Engel, who is also a physician at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. "It seems that some of these contexts are going to be very important, but they haven't been studied much. Zoo workers and bush meat hunters have been typically considered at the highest risk for viral transmission, but none of the zoo workers or hunters in our sample tested positive for SFV."

The researchers suggest that better disease monitoring and further study of monkey-human interaction could help cut down on the risks associated with viral transmission. People living, working, or visiting areas of Asia with monkey populations can also reduce their risk by limiting their close contact with the animals. Tourists can reduce their risk by wearing long pants around monkeys, and by not trying to feed, pet, or hold the animals.

Justin Reedy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.washington.edu

Further reports about: HIV SFV Virus macaque

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>