Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) from west central Africa are recognized as the reservoir of simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVcpzPtt) that have crossed at least twice to humans: this resulted in the AIDS pandemic (from human immunodeficiency virus HIV-1 group M) in one instance and infection of just a few individuals in Cameroon (by HIV-1 group N) in another1. A third HIV-1 lineage (group O) from west central Africa also falls within the SIVcpzPtt radiation2, but the primate reservoir of this virus has not been identified1. Here we report the discovery of HIV-1 group O-like viruses in wild gorillas.

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  1. Institut de Recherche pour le Développement and Department of International Health, UMR145, University of Montpellier 1, Montpellier, 34394 Cedex 5, France

    • Fran Van Heuverswyn
    • , Cecile Neel
    • , Christelle Butel
    • , Florian Liegeois
    • , Eric Delaporte
    •  & Martine Peeters
  2. Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 35294, Alabama, USA

    • Yingying Li
    • , Brandon F. Keele
    • , Weimin Liu
    • , George M. Shaw
    •  & Beatrice H. Hahn
  3. Projet Prevention du Sida au Cameroun (PRESICA), BP 1874 Yaoundé, Cameroon

    • Cecile Neel
    • , Severin Loul
    • , Yanga Bienvenue
    •  & Eitel Mpoudi Ngolle
  4. Institute of Genetics, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2UH, UK

    • Elizabeth Bailes
    •  & Paul M. Sharp
  5. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Birmingham, 35294, Alabama, USA

    • George M. Shaw
  6. Department of Tropical and Infectious Diseases, University Hospital of Montpellier, Montpellier, 34295, France

    • Eric Delaporte


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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Martine Peeters.

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