Posts Tagged ‘monkey’

African monkey meat that could be behind the next HIV

25 May, 2012

See on Scoop.itVirology News

Eighty per cent of the meat eaten in Cameroon is killed in the wild and is known as “bushmeat”. The nation’s favoured dishes are gorilla, chimpanzee or monkey because of their succulent and tender flesh. According to one estimate, up to 3,000 gorillas are slaughtered in southern Cameroon every year to supply an illicit but pervasive commercial demand for ape meat .

“Everyone is eating it,” said one game warden. “If they have money they will buy gorilla or chimp to eat.”

Frankie, a poacher in the southern Dja Wildlife reserve who gave a fake name, said he is involved in the trade because he can earn good money from it, charging around £60 per adult gorilla killed. “I have to make a living,” he said. “Women come from the market and order a gorilla or a chimp and I go and kill them.”


This is a big deal – and not because as, in the words of the article, “Britain is at risk from an outbreak caused by the lethal Ebola or Marburg viruses contained in illegal imports of bush meat from Africa”.


Because AFRICA is at risk from such diseases – and the death toll will be much higher here, where the standard of care is so much lower than in Europe.


And because we are losing the closest relatives that we as humans have – to human greed for meat.  How despicable, and how sad, is that?

See on

From monkeys to humans, or…?

15 July, 2011


A new Nature News item makes for interesting reading: it details how a new adenovirus, which had devastated a captive colony of titi monkeys, also jumped into a researcher working with them – and then into a family member who had had no other contact with the monkeys.

I put this comment up there:

While it may be unusual for adenoviruses to do this, there are a number of viruses which jump from monkeys to people – not the least of which are the HIVs.

This article, however, also raises to possibility that the virus may have gone the other way – that is, from humans to monkeys. This is also not that unusual; in fact, measles is a major risk factor in certain primate facilities, as certain monkeys can contract it easily, and often die.

The other possibility – that it came from a rodent or other animal – is potentially worrying, given that the virus was hitherto uncharacterised, and rodents tend to be ubiquitous.

Just goes to show: we really, really do need a Global Virome project, to pick up on all the little nasties out there.