Population dynamics of rhesus macaques and associated foamy virus in Bangladesh

Mostafa M. Feeroz, Khanh Soliven, Christopher T. Small, Gregory A. Engel, M. Andreina Pacheco, Joann L. Yee, Xiaoxing Wang, M. Kamrul Hasan, Gunwha Oh, Kathryn L. Levine, S. M Rabiul Alam, Karen L. Craig, Dana L. Jackson, Eun Gyung Lee, Peter A. Barry, Nicholas W. Lerche, Ananias A. Escalante, Frederick A. Matsen, Maxine L. Linial, Lisa Jones-Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Foamy viruses are complex retroviruses that have been shown to be transmitted from nonhuman primates to humans. In Bangladesh, infection with simian foamy virus (SFV) is ubiquitous among rhesus macaques, which come into contact with humans in diverse locations and contexts throughout the country. We analyzed microsatellite DNA from 126 macaques at six sites in Bangladesh in order to characterize geographic patterns of macaque population structure. We also included in this study 38 macaques owned by nomadic people who train them to perform for audiences. PCR was used to analyze a portion of the proviral gag gene from all SFV-positive macaques, and multiple clones were sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis was used to infer long-term patterns of viral transmission. Analyses of SFV gag gene sequences indicated that macaque populations from different areas harbor genetically distinct strains of SFV, suggesting that geographic features such as forest cover play a role in determining the dispersal of macaques and SFV. We also found evidence suggesting that humans traveling the region with performing macaques likely play a role in the translocation of macaques and SFV. Our studies found that individual animals can harbor more than one strain of SFV and that presence of more than one SFV strain is more common among older animals. Some macaques are infected with SFV that appears to be recombinant. These findings paint a more detailed picture of how geographic and sociocultural factors influence the spectrum of simian-borne retroviruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere29
JournalEmerging Microbes and Infections
StatePublished - 2013


  • Bangladesh
  • anthropogenic change
  • emerging infectious diseases
  • macaques
  • simian foamy virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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