Original Research

Detection and characterisation of papillomavirus in skin lesions of giraffe and sable antelope in South Africa

E. van Dyk, A-M Bosman, E. van Wilpe, J. H. Williams, R. G. Bengis, J. van Heerden, E. H. Venter
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 82, No 2 | a39 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v82i2.39 | © 2011 E. van Dyk, A-M Bosman, E. van Wilpe, J. H. Williams, R. G. Bengis, J. van Heerden, E. H. Venter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 April 2011 | Published: 11 April 2011

About the author(s)

E. van Dyk, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa., South Africa
A-M Bosman, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa., South Africa
E. van Wilpe, Section of Electron Microscopy, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa., South Africa
J. H. Williams, Section of Pathology, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa., South Africa
R. G. Bengis, National Department of Agriculture, PO Box 12, Skukuza, Kruger National Park, 1350 South Africa., South Africa
J. van Heerden, Kimberley Veterinary Clinic, 16 Dalham Road, Kimberley, 8301 South Africa., South Africa
E. H. Venter, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa., South Africa

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Abstract

Papillomavirus was detected electron microscopically in cutaneous fibropapillomas of a giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) and a sable antelope (Hippotragus niger). The virus particles measured 45 nm in diameter. Histopathologically, the lesions showed histopathological features similar to those of equine sarcoid as well as positive immunoperoxidase-staining of tissue sections for papillomavirus antigen. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detected bovine papillomavirus (BPV) DNA. Bovine papillomavirus-1 was characterised by real-time PCR in the sable and giraffe, and cloning and sequencing of the PCR product revealed a similarity to BPV-1. As in the 1st giraffe, the lesions from a 2nd giraffe revealed locally malignant pleomorphism, possibly indicating the lesional end-point of papilloma infection. Neither virus particles nor positively staining papillomavirus antigen could be demonstrated in the 2nd giraffe but papillomavirus DNA was detected by real-time PCR which corresponded with BPV-1 and BPV-2.

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