Background: Adenoviruses play an important role as human pathogens, though most infections are believed to be asymptomatic. The over 100 human adenovirus types are classified into seven species (A-G), some of which include simian adenoviruses. Recent findings have highlighted that simian adenoviruses have a zoonotic potential and that some human adenoviruses are likely the result of relatively recent spillover events. Methods: In order to evaluate the risks associated with primates hunted and sold as bushmeat, multiple samples from 24 freshly killed monkeys were collected in the Republic of the Congo and tested for adenovirus DNA by PCRs targeting the conserved DNA polymerase and hexon genes. Results: The DNA of a novel simian adenovirus was detected in a moustached monkey (Cercopithecus cephus) by the DNA polymerase PCR, but not by the hexon PCR. The 275 nucleotide amplicon was most closely related to members of the Human mastadenovirus F species (93% HAdV-40 and 89% HAdV-41 amino acid identity), rather than to other known simian adenoviruses. Conclusions: The phylogenetic clustering with Human mastadenovirus F sequences suggests a common ancestor, more recent than the last common ancestor of humans and moustached monkeys. The findings increase concerns about the zoonotic potential of simian adenoviruses and highlight the need for more research and surveillance on the issue.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases