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Discovery of Novel Herpes Simplexviruses in Wild Gorillas, Bonobos, and Chimpanzees Supports Zoonotic Origin of HSV-2

Wertheim, JO, Hostager, R, Ryu, D, Merkel, K, Angedakin, S, Arandjelovic, M, Ayimisin, EA, Babweteera, F, Bessone, M, Brun-Jeffery, KJ, Dieguez, P, Eckardt, W, Fruth, B, Herbinger, I, Jones, S, Kuehl, H, Langergraber, KE, Lee, K, Madinda, NF, Metzger, S , Ormsby, LJ, Robbins, MM, Sommer, V, Stoinski, T, Wessling, EG, Wittig, RM, Yuh, YG, Leendertz, FH and Calvignac-Spencer, S (2021) Discovery of Novel Herpes Simplexviruses in Wild Gorillas, Bonobos, and Chimpanzees Supports Zoonotic Origin of HSV-2. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 38 (7). pp. 2818-2830. ISSN 1537-1719

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Abstract

Viruses closely related to human pathogens can reveal the origins of human infectious diseases. Human herpes simplexvirus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) are hypothesized to have arisen via host-virus codivergence and crossspecies transmission. We report the discovery of novel herpes simplexviruses during a large-scale screening of fecal samples from wild gorillas, bonobos, and chimpanzees. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that, contrary to expectation, simplexviruses from these African apes are all more closely related to HSV-2 than to HSV-1. Molecular clock-based hypothesis testing suggests the divergence between HSV-1 and the African great ape simplexviruses likely represents a codivergence event between humans and gorillas. The simplexviruses infecting African great apes subsequently experienced multiple cross-species transmission events over the past 3 My, the most recent of which occurred between humans and bonobos around 1 Ma. These findings revise our understanding of the origins of human herpes simplexviruses and suggest that HSV-2 is one of the earliest zoonotic pathogens.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 0603 Evolutionary Biology, 0604 Genetics
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2022 16:12
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2022 16:15
DOI or Identification number: 10.1093/molbev/msab072
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16533

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