Origin, evolution and innate immune control of simian foamy viruses in humans

Curr Opin Virol. 2015 Feb;10:47-55. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2014.12.003. Epub 2015 Feb 17.


Most viral pathogens that have emerged in humans have originated from various animal species. Emergence is a multistep process involving an initial spill-over of the infectious agent into single individuals and its subsequent dissemination into the human population. Similar to simian immunodeficiency viruses and simian T lymphotropic viruses, simian foamy viruses (SFV) are retroviruses that are widespread among non-human primates and can be transmitted to humans, giving rise to a persistent infection, which seems to be controlled in the case of SFV. In this review, we present current data on the discovery, cross-species transmission, and molecular evolution of SFV in human populations initially infected and thus at risk for zoonotic emergence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genome, Viral
  • Humans
  • Primate Diseases / virology
  • Primates
  • Retroviridae Infections / immunology*
  • Retroviridae Infections / transmission*
  • Retroviridae Infections / veterinary
  • Retroviridae Infections / virology
  • Simian foamy virus / genetics*
  • Simian foamy virus / immunology*
  • Simian foamy virus / isolation & purification
  • Simian foamy virus / physiology
  • Simian foamy virus / ultrastructure
  • Viral Structural Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Structural Proteins / metabolism
  • Viral Tropism
  • Zoonoses


  • DNA, Viral
  • Viral Structural Proteins