Adenovirus and Herpesvirus Diversity in Free Ranging Great Apes in the Sangha Region of the Republic of Congo
Infectious diseases have caused die-offs in both free-ranging gorillas and chimpanzees. Understanding pathogen diversity and disease ecology is therefore critical for conserving these endangered animals. To determine viral diversity in free-ranging, non-habituated gorillas and chimpanzees in the Republic of Congo, genetic testing was performed on great-ape fecal samples collected near Odzala-Kokoua National Park. Samples were analyzed to determine ape species, identify individuals in the population, and to test for the presence of herpesviruses, adenoviruses, poxviruses, bocaviruses, flaviviruses, paramyxoviruses, coronaviruses, filoviruses, and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). We identified 19 DNA viruses representing two viral families, Herpesviridae and Adenoviridae, of which three herpesviruses had not been previously described. Co-detections of multiple herpesviruses and/or adenoviruses were present in both gorillas and chimpanzees. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and lymphocryptovirus (LCV) were found primarily in the context of co-association with each other and adenoviruses. Using viral discovery curves for herpesviruses and adenoviruses, the total viral richness in the sample population of gorillas and chimpanzees was estimated to be a minimum of 23 viruses, corresponding to a detection rate of 83%. These findings represent the first description of DNA viral diversity in feces from free-ranging gorillas and chimpanzees in or near the Odzala-Kokoua National Park and form a basis for understanding the types of viruses circulating among great apes in this region.
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Also Published In
- PLOS ONE
- https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0118543