A study conducted in Cameroon looked at enteric viruses in humans and some great ape species. These viruses share the same genomes. This "sharing" is thought to be a result of hunting, meat consumption and pillaging by great apes. The findings confirm the scale of pathogen transmission between humans and animals, which can represent a threat to human and animal health. This research on "viromes" was conducted in collaboration with the Institut Pasteur, the CNRS, the Pasteur Center in Cameroon and Saint-Louis Hospital. Field observations in Cameroon were compared to the situation at a European zoo. Scientists Victor Narat from the CNRS and Tamara Giles-Vernick, INCEPTION steering committee member from the Institut Pasteur, together with her team, interestingly showed that there was less viral sharing in the ZOO environment. The virome convergence observed in the Cameroonian forest is thought to be a result of farming spaces being shared with great apes, hunting, and pillaging of crops by great apes, unlike the situation in zoos where there is physical and environmental contact with zookeepers but hygiene measures such as handwashing are applied.
Find out more at the Institute Pasteur research journal