Human infection with foamy viruses

W. Heneine, M. Schweizer, P. Sandstrom, T. Folks

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    73 Scopus citations


    Virtually all nonhuman primate species investigated thus far including prosimians, New World and Old World monkeys and apes all harbor distinct and species-specific clades of simian foamy virus (SFV). However, evidence supporting the existence of a human-specific foamy virus (FV) is not yet available. Early reports describing widespread infection of healthy and sick humans with FV could not be confirmed. In contrast, all FV infections documented in humans are of zoonotic origin and are identified in persons occupationally exposed to nonhuman primates. The introduction of SFV into humans raises several public health questions regarding disease outcomes and potential for human-to-human transmissibility. The available data from a very limited number of SFV-infected humans suggest that these infections are nonpathogenic and are not easily transmissible. Additional studies are needed to better define the prevalence and natural history of SFV in humans.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)181-196
    Number of pages16
    JournalCurrent Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
    StatePublished - Jun 4 2003

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Microbiology
    • Immunology
    • Microbiology (medical)


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