Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

HIV-like viruses in non-human primates have existed much longer than previously thought

Date:
January 24, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Viruses similar to those that cause AIDS in humans were present in non-human primates in Africa at least five million years ago and perhaps up to 12 million years ago, according to new study. Until now, researchers have hypothesized that such viruses originated much more recently.

Viruses similar to those that cause AIDS in humans were present in non-human primates in Africa at least 5 million years ago and perhaps up to 12 million years ago, according to study published January 24 in the Open Access journal PLOS Pathogens by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Until now, researchers have hypothesized that such viruses originated much more recently.

HIV-1, the virus responsible for AIDS, infiltrated the human population in the early 20th century following multiple transmissions of a similar chimpanzee virus known as SIVcpz. Previous work to determine the age of HIV-like viruses, called lentiviruses, by comparing their genetic blueprints has calculated their origin to be tens of thousands of years ago.

However, other researchers have suspected this time frame to be much too recent. Michael Emerman, Ph.D., a virologist and member of the Human Biology Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Alex Compton, a graduate student in the Emerman Lab, describe the use of a technique to estimate the extent to which primates and lentiviruses have coexisted by tracking the changes in a host immunity gene called APOBEC3G that were induced by ancient viral challenges.

They report that this host immunity factor is evolving in tandem with a viral gene that defends the virus against APOBEC3G, which allowed them to determine the minimum age for the association between primates and lentiviruses to be around 5 or 6 million years ago, and possibly up to 12 million years ago.

These findings suggest that HIV-like infections in primates are much older than previously thought, and they have driven selective changes in antiviral genes that have incited an evolutionary arms race that continues to this day. The study also confirms that viruses similar to HIV that are present in various monkey species today are the descendants of ancient pathogens in primates that have shaped how the immune system fights infections.

"More than 40 non-human primate species in sub-Saharan Africa are infected with strains of HIV-related viruses," Emerman said. "Since some of these viruses may have the potential to infect humans as well, it is important to know their origins."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alex A. Compton, Michael Emerman. Convergence and Divergence in the Evolution of the APOBEC3G-Vif Interaction Reveal Ancient Origins of Simian Immunodeficiency Viruses. PLoS Pathogens, 2013; 9 (1): e1003135 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003135

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "HIV-like viruses in non-human primates have existed much longer than previously thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130124183636.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, January 24). HIV-like viruses in non-human primates have existed much longer than previously thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130124183636.htm
Public Library of Science. "HIV-like viruses in non-human primates have existed much longer than previously thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130124183636.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Cardiac experts are testing a new experimental device designed to eliminate major surgery and still keep the heart on track. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) More than 269 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Many of them will need surgery and radiation, but there’s a new simple way to reconstruct tissue using a patient’s own fat. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood Clots in Kids

Blood Clots in Kids

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Every year, up to 200,000 Americans die from a blood clot that travels to their lungs. You’ve heard about clots in adults, but new research shows kids can get them too. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Doctors have used radio frequency ablation or RFA to reduce neck and back pain for years. But now, that same technique is providing longer-term relief for patients with severe knee pain. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins