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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 reverse transcription PCR. Enterovirus RNA was detected in 10 % of samples, comprising eight from 58 sampled chimpanzees (13.8 %), one from 40 bonobos (2.5 %) and five from 40 gorillas (12.2 %). Three viruses isolated from chimpanzees grouped with human isolate EV-A89 and four (four chimpanzees, one 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 four 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.

Original publication




Journal article


J Gen Virol

Publication Date





403 - 407


Animals, Cameroon, Cluster Analysis, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Enterovirus, Enterovirus Infections, Feces, Genotype, Hominidae, Humans, Molecular Sequence Data, Phylogeny, Primate Diseases, RNA, Viral, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Sequence Homology