Abstract / Description of output
A total of 139 stool samples from wild chimpanzees, gorillas and bonobos in Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were screened for enteroviruses (EVs) by RT-PCR. EV RNA was detected in 10% of samples, comprising 8 from 58 sampled chimpanzees (13.8%), 1/40 bonobos (2.5%) and 5/40 gorillas (12.2%). Three chimpanzee variants grouped with human isolate EV-A89 while four (4 chimpanzee, 1 gorilla) represented a newly identified type, EV-A119. These species A virus types overlapped with those circulating in human populations in the same area. The remaining six strains comprised a new species D type, EV-D120, infecting one chimpanzee and 4 gorillas, and a single EV variant infecting a bonobo that was remarkably divergent from other EVs and potentially constitutes a new enterovirus species. The study demonstrates both the circulation of genetically divergent EV variants in apes and monkeys as well as those shared with local human populations.