Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Published:

Detection and quantification of STLV-1 and SFV proviral load in blood and saliva of naturally infected non-human primates

Simian T Lymphotropic Virus type 1 (STLV-1) and Simian Foamy Virus (SFV) retroviruses infect Old World non-human primates (NHP) and humans. Inter-human transmission has been described for HTLV-1 but not for SFV. SFV infection is asymptomatic in its hosts, while STLV-1 and its human counterpart HTLV-1 are the etiologic agents of Adult T-cell Leukemia/Lymphoma. Both STLV-1 and SFV can be zoonotically transmitted from NHP to humans through severe bites, thus involving contact between virus-containing saliva in the donor and blood in the recipient. Surprisingly, while the presence of both SFV RNA and DNA has been characterized into the saliva of NHP, neither STLV-1 DNA, nor STLV-1 RNA was quantified. Thus, the goal of our study was to search for STLV-1 provirus in the cells present in the saliva of NHP and then to quantify the proviral load of both viruses. We took advantages of a cohort of 45 papio anubis, naturally infected by STLV-1. We first assessed SFV infection and then potential SFV/STLV-1 co-infections. To this end, we designed semi-nested PCR and qPCR protocols (1) to diagnose infection and (2) to quantify STLV-1 and/or SFV proviral load in peripheral blood cells and in saliva. First, STLV-1 provirus was detected by semi-nested PCR in 8/10 blood samples tested, but only in the saliva of 1/10 NHP who had a high STLV-1 proviral load in peripheral blood cells. SFV DNA was detected by nested-PCR in blood samples from 10/10 baboons and in the saliva of 8/10 animals. A second study performed with 20 animals will be presented. We will show whether a correlation exists between blood and saliva STLV-1/SFV proviral load and whether infection with one retrovirus impacts proviral load of the other. Altogether, our current results suggest that SFV is more frequently present in saliva than STLV-1. This should impact the ability of both viruses to be zoonotically transmitted through bites.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Renaud Mahieux.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Alais, S., Pasquier, A., Turpin, J. et al. Detection and quantification of STLV-1 and SFV proviral load in blood and saliva of naturally infected non-human primates. Retrovirology 12 (Suppl 1), P4 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: