Sequence variation and subtyping of human and simian T-cell lymphotropic virus type I strains from South Africa
We report on the subtyping of South African primate T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (PTLV-I) strains by investigating the LTR region using sequence analysis and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) techniques. DNA from either uncultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs); cultured PBMC or cell lines of eight human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I); and two simian T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (STLV-I) strains (Cercopithecus aethiops pygerythrus) were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), cloned, and sequenced. The samples originated from different geographical regions in South Africa. Phylogenetic relationships were estimated using the neighbor-joining method. The South African HTLV-I strains were of Cosmopolitan origin and similar to each other. RFLP analysis confirmed this subtyping. A divergence of 0.3 to 1.6% between the Cosmopolitan strains was observed, while the divergence between the HTLV-I and STLV-I strains ranged from 6.3 to 7%. The STLV-I strains were closely related to that of a chimpanzee, providing evidence of interspecies transmission.