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Epidemiological Surveillance of Lymphocryptovirus Infection in Wild Bonobos

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Epidemiological Surveillance of Lymphocryptovirus Infection in Wild Bonobos

Tomoyuki Yoshida et al. Front Microbiol.

Abstract

Lymphocryptovirus (LCV) is one of the major gena in the herpesvirus family and is widely disseminated among primates. LCVs of human and rhesus macaques are shown to be causative agents of a number of malignant diseases including lymphoma and carcinoma. Bonobos (Pan paniscus) are highly endangered and the least studied species of the great apes. Considering the potential pathogenicity of the LCV that might threaten the fate of wild bonobos, population-based epidemiological information in terms of LCV prevalence in different location of Bonobo's habitats will help propose improved conservation strategies for the bonobos. However, such data are not available yet because it is very difficult to collect blood samples in the wild and thus virtually impossible to conduct sero-epidemiological study on the wild ape. In order to overcome this issue, we focused on evaluating anti-LCV IgA in the feces of bonobos, which are available in a non-invasive manner. Preliminary study showed that anti-LCV IgA but not IgG was efficiently and reproducibly detected in the feces of captive chimpanzees. It is noteworthy that the fecal IgA-positive individuals were seropositive for both anti-LCV IgG and IgA and that the IgA antibodies in both sera and feces were also detectable by Western blotting assay. These results indicate that the detection of fecal anti-LCV IgA is likely a reliable and feasible for epidemiological surveillance of LCV prevalence in the great apes. We then applied this method and found that 31% of wild bonobos tested were positive for anti-LCV IgA antibody in the feces. Notably, the positivity rates varied extensively among their sampled populations. In conclusion, our results in this study demonstrate that LCV is highly disseminated among wild bonobos while the prevalence is remarkably diverse in their population-dependent manner.

Keywords: apes; bonobo; epidemiology; feces; lymphocryptovirus; surveillance.

Figures

FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1
Detection of IgG and IgA antibodies against LCV VCA in sera and feces of captive chimpanzees. Antibodies against LCV VCA in sera (A,B) and feces (C,D) of captive chimpanzees were evaluated by ELISA. Results shown are representative of three independent experiments. The results of anti-VCA IgG (A,C) and the anti-VCA IgA (B,D) are indicated, respectively.
FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2
Detection of IgG and IgA antibodies against LCV EA in sera and feces of captive chimpanzees. Antibodies against LCV EA in sera (A,B) and feces (C,D) of captive chimpanzees were evaluated by ELISA. Results shown are representative of three independent experiments. The results of anti-EA IgG (A,C) and the anti-EA IgA (B,D) are indicated, respectively.
FIGURE 3
FIGURE 3
Relationship between the concentration of the anti-VCA and EA IgA and IgG antibodies in the sera of captive chimpanzees. The data regarding the concentration of IgA and IgG antibodies against LCV VCA (A) and EA (B) in the sera of captive chimpanzees as measured by ELISA were plotted.
FIGURE 4
FIGURE 4
Detection of LCV EA-specific antibodies in sera and fecal samples from captive chimpanzees by WB analysis. The anti-LCV EA antibodies in sera (A) and feces (B) of captive chimpanzees were examined for the reactivity to EBV EA by WB analysis. PC and NC indicate positive and negative controls, respectively.
FIGURE 5
FIGURE 5
Geographical map showing fecal sample collection sites in DRC. Collection of 98 feces was performed as described in Section “Materials and Methods.”
FIGURE 6
FIGURE 6
Comparison among the sampled populations of wild bonobos in terms of the concentration of the anti-VCA and EA IgA antibodies in their feces. The plotted data indicate the concentration of IgA antibodies against LCV VCA (A) and EA (B) in the feces of wild bonobos habituated in Wamba, Lomako, TL2, and Lac Tumba, respectively, as measured by ELISA.

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