Human Retrovirus Obtained from Infected Chimpanzee Exposure

A retrovirus can be any of a group of RNA viruses (i.e., HIV) that insert a DNA copy of their genome into the host cell in order to replicate. Retroviruses can cause persistent and often lifelong infections.

As a result of a voluntary study of nonhuman primate workers in zoos and primate centers, CDC scientists have isolated a retrovirus (spumavirus) from an individual that had a rare occupational exposure to an infected chimpanzee. The isolated virus is genetically and antigenically similar to the strain from the infected chimpanzee but distinct from other human spumaviruses. This discovery has potential in various research and commercial applications. It can be provided as a research tool for screening spumavirus infections or used as a reagent in pathogenicity studies. Being a retrovirus, this discovery can be used as a vector for gene therapy or a recombinant virus vaccine. Finally, sera have been generated against this retrovirus for serological studies of spumaviruses.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Screening of retrovirus infection in humans
  • Use as a vector for gene therapy
  • Recombinant virus vaccine
  • Public health monitoring and surveillance
  • Research tool for screening spumavirus infections or reagent use in pathogenicity studies
  • Closer genetic sequence to humans may make this retrovirus a superior candidate as a spumavirus gene therapy vector

Related Invention(s):


Walid Heneine (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Thomas Folks (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

William Switzer (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Paul Sandstrom (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
U.S. Pat: 6,800,475 issued 2004-10-05
PCT Application No. PCT/US2000/016433
US Application No. 10/018,627

Heneine W., et al. PMID 9546784
Chapman L., et al. PMID 10083399
Sandstrom P., et al. PMID 10683011

Collaboration Opportunity:

The CDC Technology Transfer Office (TTO) is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize: Human Retrovirus Obtained From Infected Chimpanzee Exposure. For collaboration opportunities, please contact CDC TTO at or 1-404-639-1330.

Licensing Contact:
Jeremiah Mitzelfelt,
Phone: 301-443-8518

OTT Reference No: E-251-2013-0
Updated: Sep 10, 2018