This report describes serologic evidence for a virus similar to that known as simian T-lymphotropic virus type III of African Green monkeys (STLV-III AGM) infecting apparently healthy people in Senegal, West Africa, and the isolation of virus from these individuals. Serum samples from selected healthy West African people showed unusual serologic profiles when tested with antigens of HTLV-III/LAV, the etiologic agent of AIDS, and of STLV-III AGM. The samples reacted strongly with all of the major viral antigens of STLV-IIIAGM but showed variable or no reactivity with the major viral antigens of HTLV-III/LAV by radioimmunoprecipitation and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. A new human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV-IV) isolated from these people was grown in vitro and shown to have retroviral type particles, growth characteristics, and major viral proteins similar to those ofthe STLV-III and HTLV-III/LAV group of retroviruses. The gp120/160, gp32, p64, p55, p53, p24, and p15 proteins precipitated were the same size as and reactive with STLV-IIIAGM proteins. The serologic data suggest that this virus shares more common epitopes with STLV-IIIAGM than with the prototype HTLV-III/LAV that infects people in the United States and Europe. Further study of this virus and of the origin of the HTLV-III/LAV group of viruses may expand our understanding of the human AIDS virus.
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