A seroprevalence survey was conducted for simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) antibody in household pet monkeys in Gabon. Twenty-nine monkeys representing seven species were analyzed. By using human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2)/SIVsm, SIVmnd, and SIVagm antigens, one red-capped mangabey (RCM) (Cercocebus torquatus torquatus) was identified as harboring SIV-cross-reactive antibodies. A virus isolate, termed SIVrcm, was subsequently established from this seropositive RCM by cocultivation of its peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with PBMC from seronegative humans or RCMs. SIVrcm was also isolated by cocultivation of CD8-depleted RCM PBMC with Molt 4 clone 8 cells but not with CEMx174 cells. The lack of growth in CEMx174 cells distinguished this new SIV from all previously reported sooty mangabey-derived viruses (SIVsm), which grow well in this cell line. SIVrcm was also successfully transmitted (cell free) to human and rhesus PBMC as well as to Molt 4 clone 8 cells. To determine the evolutionary origins of this newly identified virus, subgenomic pol (475 bp) and gag (954 bp) gene fragments were amplified from infected cell culture DNA and sequenced. The position of SIVrcm relative to those of members of the other primate lentivirus lineages was then examined in evolutionary trees constructed from deduced protein sequences. This analysis revealed significantly discordant phylogenetic positions of SIVrcm in the two genomic regions. In trees derived from partial gag sequences, SIVrcm clustered independently from all other HIV and SIV strains, consistent with a new primate lentivirus lineage. However, in trees derived from pol sequences, SIVrcm grouped with the HIV-1/SIVcpz lineage. These findings suggest that the SIVrcm genome is mosaic and possibly is the result of a recombination event involving divergent lentiviruses in the distant past. Further analysis of this and other SIVrcm isolates may shed new light on the origin of HIV-1.