Zoonotic transmission and emergence of pathogens are serious threats to endangered populations of free-ranging primate species. Recent discovery of a nonpathogenic yet highly prevalent virus in human populations, TT virus (TTV), has prompted studies into the presence of this virus among captive individuals of other species of nonhuman primates. In this study, we screened captive primate species for TTV. In addition, we provide the first data on TTV infection in free-ranging primates by noninvasive screening of three chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes sweinfurthii) communities. Phylogenetic relationships between virus isolates and those previously reported from human populations, captive primates, and domesticated species are inferred. Our findings are discussed with respect to potential zoonotic events that may result from increased levels of human encroachment into wild habitats.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2