Identification of a Novel Cetacean Polyomavirus from a Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) with Tracheobronchitis

Anthony, Simon John; St. Leger, Judy A.; Navarrete Macias, Isamara; Nilson, Erica; Sanchez-Leon, Maria; Liang, Eliza; Seimon, Tracie; Jain, Komal; Karesh, William; Daszak, Peter; Briese, Thomas; Lipkin, W. Ian

A female short-beaked common dolphin calf was found stranded in San Diego, California in October 2010, presenting with multifocal ulcerative lesions in the trachea and bronchi. Viral particles suggestive of polyomavirus were detected by EM, and subsequently confirmed by PCR and sequencing. Full genome sequencing (Ion Torrent) revealed a circular dsDNA genome of 5,159 bp that was shown to form a distinct lineage within the genus Polyomavirus based on phylogenetic analysis of the early and late transcriptomes. Viral infection and distribution in laryngeal mucosa was characterised using in-situ hybridisation, and apoptosis observed in the virus-infected region. These results demonstrate that polyomaviruses can be associated with respiratory disease in cetaceans, and expand our knowledge of their diversity and clinical significance in marine mammals.


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Center for Infection and Immunity
Public Library of Science
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November 30, 2016