Persons occupationally exposed to nonhuman primates (NHPs) can be persistently infected with simian foamy virus (SFV). The clinical significance and person-to-person transmissibility of zoonotic SFV infection is unclear. Seven SFV-infected men responded to annual structured interviews and provided whole blood, oral, and urogenital specimens for study. Wives were tested for SFV infection. Proviral DNA was consistently detected by PCR in PBMCs of infected men and inconsistently in oral or urogenital samples. SFV was infrequently cultured from their PBMCs and throat swabs. Despite this and a long period of intimate exposure (median 20 years), wives were SFV negative. Most participants reported nonspecific symptoms and diseases common to aging. However, one of two persons with mild thrombocytopenia had clinically asymptomatic nonprogressive, monoclonal natural killer cell lymphocytosis of unclear relationship to SFV. All participants worked with NHPs before 1988 using mucocutaneous protection inconsistently; 57% described percutaneous injuries involving the infecting NHP species. SFV likely transmits to humans through both percutaneous and mucocutaneous exposures to NHP body fluids. Limited follow-up has not identified SFV-associated illness and secondary transmission among humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases