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Setchell J.M.,Durham University | Charpentier M.J.E.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Abbott K.M.,University of Cambridge | Wickings E.J.,Center International Of Recherches Medicales | Knapp L.A.,University of Cambridge
Journal of Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2010

We investigated reproduction in a semi-free-ranging population of a polygynous primate, the mandrill, in relation to genetic relatedness and male genetic characteristics, using neutral microsatellite and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genotyping. We compared genetic dissimilarity to the mother and genetic characteristics of the sire with all other potential sires present at the conception of each offspring (193 offspring for microsatellite genetics, 180 for MHC). The probability that a given male sired increased as pedigree relatedness with the mother decreased, and overall genetic dissimilarity and MHC dissimilarity with the mother increased. Reproductive success also increased with male microsatellite heterozygosity and MHC diversity. These effects were apparent despite the strong influence of dominance rank on male reproductive success. The closed nature of our study population is comparable to human populations for which MHC-associated mate choice has been reported, suggesting that such mate choice may be especially important in relatively isolated populations with little migration to introduce genetic variation. © 2009 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.


Setchell J.M.,Durham University | Smith T.,University of Chester | Wickings E.J.,Center International Of Recherches Medicales | Knapp L.A.,University of Cambridge
Hormones and Behavior | Year: 2010

We examined variation in glucocorticoid levels in the mandrill, a brightly coloured primate species, to identify major social influences on stress hormones, and investigate relationships among glucocorticoid levels, testosterone and secondary sexual ornamentation. We collected a total of 317 fecal samples for 16 adult male mandrills over 13 months, including mating and non-mating periods and periods of both dominance rank stability and instability, and compared fecal glucocorticoid levels with dominance rank, rank stability, presence of receptive females, gastro-intestinal parasite infection, fecal testosterone and facial red coloration. Glucocorticoid levels did not vary systematically with dominance rank, but increased when the dominance hierarchy was unstable, and increased in the presence of receptive females. The relationship between dominance rank and glucocorticoid levels changed direction according to the stability of the dominance hierarchy: glucocorticoid levels were higher in subordinate males under stable conditions, but under conditions of instability higher ranking males had higher glucocorticoid levels. The influence of dominance rank also interacted with the presence of receptive females: glucocorticoids were higher in dominant males than in subordinates, but only during mating periods, suggesting that dominant males are more stressed than subordinates during such periods. These findings support previous studies showing that the relationship between glucocorticoids and dominance rank in male baboons is dependent on the social environment. We also found that males with higher glucocorticoids suffered a higher diversity of gastrointestinal parasite infection, in line with evidence that glucocorticoids suppress the immune system in other species. However, we found no support for the stress-mediated immunocompetence handicap hypothesis for the evolution of condition-dependent ornaments: glucocorticoid and testosterone levels were positively related, rather than the negative relationship predicted by the hypothesis, and we found no relationship between red colour and glucocorticoid levels, suggesting that glucocorticoids do not play a role in translating social conditions or physical health into ornament expression in this species. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Boue V.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Boue V.,Center International Of Recherches Medicales | Locatelli S.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Boucher F.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | And 17 more authors.
Viruses | Year: 2015

The emergence of HIV-1 groups M, N, O, and P is the result of four independent cross-species transmissions between chimpanzees (cpz) and gorillas (gor) from central/south Cameroon and humans respectively. Although the first two SIVcpz were identified in wild-born captive chimpanzees in Gabon in 1989, no study has been conducted so far in wild chimpanzees in Gabon. To document the SIVcpz infection rate, genetic diversity, and routes of virus transmission, we analyzed 1458 faecal samples collected in 16 different locations across the country, and we conducted follow-up missions in two of them. We found 380 SIV antibody positive samples in 6 different locations in the north and northeast. We determined the number of individuals collected by microsatellite analysis and obtained an adjusted SIV prevalence of 39.45%. We performed parental analysis to investigate viral spread between and within communities and found that SIVs were epidemiologically linked and were transmitted by both horizontal and vertical routes. We amplified pol and gp41 fragments and obtained 57 new SIVcpzPtt strains from three sites. All strains, but one, clustered together within a specific phylogeographic clade. Given that these SIV positive samples have been collected nearby villages and that humans continue to encroach in ape’s territories, the emergence of a new HIV in this area needs to be considered. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Pourrut X.,Institute Of Recherche Pour Le Developpement | Pourrut X.,Center International Of Recherches Medicales | Nkoghe D.,Center International Of Recherches Medicales | Paweska J.,South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases | And 2 more authors.
Virology Journal | Year: 2010

To investigate West Nile virus (WNV) circulation in rural populations in Gabon, we undertook a large serological survey focusing on human rural populations, using two different ELISA assays. A sample was considered positive when it reacted in both tests. A total of 2320 villagers from 115 villages were interviewed and sampled. Surprisingly, the WNV-specific IgG prevalence was high overall (27.2%) and varied according to the ecosystem: 23.7% in forested regions, 21.8% in savanna, and 64.9% in the lakes region. The WNV-specific IgG prevalence rate was 30% in males and 24.6% in females, and increased with age. Although serological cross-reactions between flaviviruses are likely and may be frequent, these findings strongly suggest that WNV is widespread in Gabon. The difference in WNV prevalence among ecosystems suggests preferential circulation in the lakes region. The linear increase with age suggests continuous exposure of Gabonese populations to WNV. Further investigations are needed to determine the WNV cycle and transmission patterns in Gabon. © 2010 Pourrut et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Pourrut X.,Institute Of Recherche Pour Le Developpement | Pourrut X.,Center International Of Recherches Medicales | Nkoghe D.,Center International Of Recherches Medicales | Souris M.,Mahidol University | And 7 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2010

Background: Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne viral zoonosis caused by a phlebovirus and transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Humans can also be infected through direct contact with blood (aerosols) or tissues (placenta, stillborn) of infected animals. Although severe clinical cases can be observed, infection with RVF virus (RVFV) in humans is, in most cases, asymptomatic or causes a febrile illness without serious symptoms. In small ruminants RVFV mainly causes abortion and neonatal death. The distribution of RVFV has been well documented in many African countries, particularly in the north (Egypt, Sudan), east (Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia), west (Senegal, Mauritania) and south (South Africa), but also in the Indian Ocean (Madagascar, Mayotte) and the Arabian Peninsula. In contrast, the prevalence of RVFV has rarely been investigated in central African countries. Methodology/Principal Findings: We therefore conducted a large serological survey of rural populations in Gabon, involving 4,323 individuals from 212 randomly selected villages (10.3% of all Gabonese villages). RVFV-specific IgG was found in a total of 145 individuals (3.3%) suggesting the wide circulation of Rift Valley fever virus in Gabon. The seroprevalence was significantly higher in the lakes region than in forest and savannas zones, with respective rates of 8.3%, 2.9% and 2.2%. In the lakes region, RVFV-specific IgG was significantly more prevalent in males than in females (respectively 12.8% and 3.8%) and the seroprevalence increased gradually with age in males but not in females. Conclusions/Significance: Although RVFV was suggested to circulate at a relatively high level in Gabon, no outbreaks or even isolated cases have been documented in the country. The higher prevalence in the lakes region is likely to be driven by specific ecologic conditions favorable to certain mosquito vector species. Males may be more at risk of infection than females because they spend more time farming and hunting outside the villages, where they may be more exposed to mosquito bites and infected animals. Further investigations are needed to determine the putative sylvan cycle of RVFV, including the mosquito species and the reservoir role of wild animals in the viral maintenance cycle. © 2010 Pourrut et al.


Caron M.,Center International Of Recherches Medicales | Bouscaillou J.,Institute Pasteur Of Bangui | Kazanji M.,Center International Of Recherches Medicales | Kazanji M.,Institute Pasteur Of Bangui
Virology Journal | Year: 2012

Background: Hepatitis E virus (HEV), an enterically transmitted pathogen, is highly endemic in several African countries. Pregnant women are at particularly high risk for acute or severe hepatitis E. In Gabon, a central African country, the prevalence of antibodies to HEV among pregnant women is 14.1%. Recent studies have demonstrated unusual patterns of hepatitis E (chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis) among immunodeficient patients. Findings. We investigated the prevalence of antibodies to HEV among pregnant women infected with HIV-1 or HTLV-1 in Gabon. Of 243 samples collected, 183 were positive for HIV-1 and 60 for HTLV-1; 16 women (6.6%) had IgG antibodies to HEV. The seroprevalence was higher among HIV-1-infected women (7.1%) than HTLV-1-infected women (5.0%). Moreover, the HIV-1 viral load was significantly increased (p 0.02) among women with past-HEV exposure (1.3E+05 vs 5.7E+04 copies per ml), whereas no difference was found in HTLV-1 proviral load (9.0E+01 vs 1.1E+03 copies per ml). Conclusions: These data provide evidence that HIV-1-infected women are at risk for acute or severe infection if they are exposed to HEV during pregnancy, with an increased viral load. © 2012 Caron et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Pourrut X.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Pourrut X.,Center International Of Recherches Medicales | Emane K.A.,Center International Of Recherches Medicales | Camicas J.-L.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | And 3 more authors.
Acarologia | Year: 2011

Few data are available on the distribution of tick species in Gabon. We report the results of a survey of ticks collected from wild and domestic animals, and in the environment, in several regions of Gabon. We identified four tick species for the first time in Gabon, namely Haemaphysalis paralaechi, Ixodes aulacodi, Rhipicephalus annulatus and Rhipicephalus simpsoni and we report 28 tick species for this country. © Pourrut et al.


PubMed | Center International Of Recherches Medicales
Type: | Journal: Virology journal | Year: 2012

Hepatitis E virus (HEV), an enterically transmitted pathogen, is highly endemic in several African countries. Pregnant women are at particularly high risk for acute or severe hepatitis E. In Gabon, a central African country, the prevalence of antibodies to HEV among pregnant women is 14.1%. Recent studies have demonstrated unusual patterns of hepatitis E (chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis) among immunodeficient patients.We investigated the prevalence of antibodies to HEV among pregnant women infected with HIV-1 or HTLV-1 in Gabon. Of 243 samples collected, 183 were positive for HIV-1 and 60 for HTLV-1; 16 women (6.6%) had IgG antibodies to HEV. The seroprevalence was higher among HIV-1-infected women (7.1%) than HTLV-1-infected women (5.0%). Moreover, the HIV-1 viral load was significantly increased (p 0.02) among women with past-HEV exposure (1.3E+05 vs 5.7E+04 copies per ml), whereas no difference was found in HTLV-1 proviral load (9.0E+01 vs 1.1E+03 copies per ml).These data provide evidence that HIV-1-infected women are at risk for acute or severe infection if they are exposed to HEV during pregnancy, with an increased viral load.


PubMed | French Institute of Health and Medical Research and Center International Of Recherches Medicales
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Viruses | Year: 2015

The emergence of HIV-1 groups M, N, O, and P is the result of four independent cross-species transmissions between chimpanzees (cpz) and gorillas (gor) from central/south Cameroon and humans respectively. Although the first two SIVcpz were identified in wild-born captive chimpanzees in Gabon in 1989, no study has been conducted so far in wild chimpanzees in Gabon. To document the SIVcpz infection rate, genetic diversity, and routes of virus transmission, we analyzed 1458 faecal samples collected in 16 different locations across the country, and we conducted follow-up missions in two of them. We found 380 SIV antibody positive samples in 6 different locations in the north and northeast. We determined the number of individuals collected by microsatellite analysis and obtained an adjusted SIV prevalence of 39.45%. We performed parental analysis to investigate viral spread between and within communities and found that SIVs were epidemiologically linked and were transmitted by both horizontal and vertical routes. We amplified pol and gp41 fragments and obtained 57 new SIVcpzPtt strains from three sites. All strains, but one, clustered together within a specific phylogeographic clade. Given that these SIV positive samples have been collected nearby villages and that humans continue to encroach in apes territories, the emergence of a new HIV in this area needs to be considered.

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