L'Hoest's monkey's (Cercopithecus Ihoesti) are believed to be naturally infected with a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), termed SIVIho, but only a handful of isolates, all derived from captive animals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DCR), have thus far been characterized. Here, we report the noninvasive detection and molecular characterization of SIVIho in a wild L'Hoest's monkey from the Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda. Screening four L'Hoest's monkey fecal samples collected opportunistically as part of a larger noninvasive survey of SIV prevalence in Nyungwe National Park we identified one to be vRNA positive. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) amplification of a subgenomic pol fragment (598 bp) identified a new SIVIho strain (RW30) that differed from previously reported SIVIho isolates in 17-22% of its nucleotide sequence. In a phylogenic tree of partial Pol protein sequences, RW30 fell well within the SIVIho radiation, but was not particularly closely related to any of the other strains. These results provide the first direct evidence that L'Hoewst's monkeys harbor SIVIho in the wild, that infection is prevalent in different areas of the species' habitat, and that geographically diverse SIVIho strains cluster in a single group according to their species of origin. L'Hoest's monkeys represent the third primate species for which the utility of noninvasive SIV testing has been documented.
- Animals, Wild
- RNA, Viral
- Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
- Simian immunodeficiency virus