Original Research

Molecular detection of Yaba monkey tumour virus from a vervet monkey

Helene Brettschneider, Johan H. Voster, Emily P. Lane, Erna van Wilpe, Peter Biden, Desire L. Dalton, Antoinette Kotze
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 84, No 1 | a978 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v84i1.978 | © 2013 Helene Brettschneider, Johan H. Voster, Emily P. Lane, Erna van Wilpe, Peter Biden, Desire L. Dalton, Antoinette Kotze | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 January 2013 | Published: 20 September 2013

About the author(s)

Helene Brettschneider, Research and Scientific Services, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, South Africa
Johan H. Voster, Vetdiagnostix, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Emily P. Lane, Research and Scientific Services, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, South Africa
Erna van Wilpe, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Peter Biden, Scottburgh Veterinary Clinic, Scottburgh, South Africa
Desire L. Dalton, Research and Scientific Services, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, South Africa; Department of Genetics, University of the Free State, South Africa
Antoinette Kotze, Research and Scientific Services, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, South Africa; Department of Genetics, University of the Free State, South Africa


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Abstract

Yaba monkey tumour virus (YMTV) was first diagnosed in a colony of captive rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) in Yaba, Nigeria. It has been implicated as the cause of cutaneous nodules in wild baboons (Papio species), rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). This article reports a case of cutaneous pox lesions caused by YMTV in a  free-ranging  adult  female  vervet  monkey  (Chlorocebus  pygerythrus)  from  the  Umkomaas coastal area in South Africa. The virus was identified by molecular sequencing from fragments of the insulin metalloprotease-like protein and intracellular mature virion membrane protein as well as the DNA polymerase genes. Phylogenetic analyses of these gene regions revealed a 99% similarity of the sample to YMTV. Although human disease caused by YMTV is normally mild,  it  is  recommended  that  persons  in  contact  with  non-human  primates  in  the  area  of Umkomaas who develop cutaneous lesions should inform their doctors of the possibility of this infection. The extent and significance of the virus to human and non-human primates in South Africa are not known. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first diagnosis of YMTV in South Africa and in vervet monkeys.

Keywords

Skin lesions, Yaba Monkey Tumor virus (YMTV), Poxvirus, Vervet monkey, Chlorocebus pygerythrus.

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