Rapid radiation of treponema pallidum pertenue in wild non-human primates

Düx, Ariane, Schuenemann, Schuenemann, Verena J., Gogarten, Jan F., De Nys, Hélène M., Nieselt, Kay, Mayhew, Michael ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2934-5489 , Leendertz, Fabian H., Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien and Krause, Johannes (2017) Rapid radiation of treponema pallidum pertenue in wild non-human primates. Virus Evolution, 3 (S1). A15.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/ve/vew036.014


Bacteria of the species Treponema pallidum are causative agents of venereal syphilis (Treponema pallidum pallidum), Bejel (T. p. endemicum), and yaws (T. p. pertenue) in humans. We documented Treponema pallidum infections associated with disease in wild sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys) in Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire, and green monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) from Bijilo Forest Park, Gambia and Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal. To examine the evolutionary relatedness of these treponemes to those responsible for diseases in humans and for previously documented infections in baboons (Papio papio), we conducted a hybridization capture experiment to enrich Treponema pallidum DNA from samples collected from symptomatic individuals. This approach allowed us to sequence the full genomes of Treponema pallidum strains infecting sooty mangabeys (n = 2) and green monkeys (n = 4). Phylogenomic analyses revealed that all Treponema pallidum strains infecting non-human primates are most closely related to the sub-species T. p. pertenue. Strains infecting humans and non-human primates do not appear to be reciprocally monophyletic. The star-like phylogenetic branching pattern of the T. p. pertenue clade, with short basal branches receiving low statistical support, suggests a rapid initial radiation across humans and non-human primates. These results greatly broaden the known host range of T.p. pertenue and suggest the existence of a vast zoonotic reservoir that could possibly contribute to the failure of global eradication efforts.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Virus Evolution
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 2057-1577
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Forestry and Conservation
Additional Information: This is an Open Access publication distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
SWORD Depositor: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2017 09:46
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 17:02
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3208


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