Epidemiological and molecular characterization of a novel adenovirus of squirrel monkeys after fatal infection during immunosuppression.Microb Genom. 2020 Jul 02 [Online ahead of print]MG
Adenoviruses are a frequent cause of acute upper respiratory tract infections that can also cause disseminated disease in immunosuppressed patients. We identified a novel adenovirus, squirrel monkey adenovirus 1 (SqMAdV-1), as the cause of fatal infection in an immunocompromised squirrel monkey (Saimiri boliviensis) at the Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research (KCCMR). Sequencing of SqMAdV-1 revealed that it is most closely related (80.4 % pairwise nucleotide identity) to the titi monkey (Plecturocebus cupreus) adenovirus (TMAdV). Although identified in the titi monkey, TMAdV is highly lethal in these monkeys, and they are not thought to be the natural host. While SqMAdV-1 is similar to other primate adenoviruses in size and genomic characteristics, a nucleotide polymorphism at the expected stop codon of the DNA polymerase gene results in a 126 amino acid extension at the carboxy terminus, a feature not previously observed among other primate adenoviruses. PCR testing and partial sequencing of 95 archived faecal samples from other squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis and Saimiri sciureus) housed at the KCCMR revealed the presence of three distinct, and apparently endemic species of adenoviruses. A grouping of ten squirrel monkey adenovirus variants has high similarity to SqMAdV-1. A single adenovirus variant (designated SqMAdV-3), detected in five monkeys, has similarity to tufted capuchin (Sapajus apella) adenoviruses. The largest group of adenovirus variants detected (designated SqMAdV-2.0-2.16) has very high similarity (93-99 %) to the TMAdV, suggesting that squirrel monkeys may be the natural host of the TMAdV.