Viruses isolated from Panamanian sloths

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1983 Nov;32(6):1435-44. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.1983.32.1435.


Seven virus strains were isolated in Vero cells from whole blood samples from 80 wild-caught sloths, Bradypus variegatus and Choloepus hoffmanni, from Central Panamá. Four strains of at least two different serotypes are related to Changuinola virus; two of these were associated with prolonged or recrudescent viremias. One strain is an antigenic subtype of Punta Toro virus, and another, described here as Bradypus-4 virus, is a new, antigenically ungrouped virus. A second new virus from sloths, Utive virus, forms an antigenic complex within the Simbu serogroup with Utinga and Pintupo viruses. Tests on sequential plasma samples from radio-marked free-ranging sloths and from recently captured animals maintained in captivity showed that both species develop neutralizing antibodies following naturally acquired virus infections. Antibodies against the Changuinola and Simbu serogroup viruses are widespread in both sloth species and are especially prevalent in Choloepus, but are virtually absent in all other wild vertebrate species tested.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Bunyaviridae / immunology
  • Bunyaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Bunyaviridae Infections / microbiology
  • Bunyaviridae Infections / veterinary*
  • Cingulata / microbiology*
  • Encephalitis Virus, California / isolation & purification
  • Male
  • Phlebovirus / isolation & purification
  • RNA Viruses / immunology
  • RNA Viruses / isolation & purification*
  • Serotyping
  • Simbu virus / isolation & purification
  • Sloths / microbiology*
  • Virus Diseases / microbiology
  • Virus Diseases / veterinary*


  • Antibodies, Viral