In order to understand primate lentivirus evolution, characterization of additional simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) strains is essential. Here, an SIV from a black mangabey (Lophocebus aterrimus) originating from the Democratic Republic of Congo was analysed phylogenetically. The monkey had cross-reactive antibodies against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and HIV-2. The viral pol region sequence was amplified by nested PCR and sequence analysis confirmed that it was related to known SIV sequences. This is the first report to characterize genetically an SIV from the monkey genus Lophocebus. Phylogenetic analysis of the pol region revealed that this novel SIV, designated SIVbkm, fell into the SIVsyk and SIVgsn virus group, containing viruses isolated from the genus Cercopithecus, and suggests that cross-species transmission has occurred between species of the genera Lophocebus and Cercopithecus.
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