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Identification and characterization of two closely related unclassifiable endogenous retroviruses in pythons (Python molurus and Python curtus).


Huder, J B; Böni, J; Hatt, Jean-Michel; Soldati, G; Lutz, Hans; Schüpbach, Jörg (2002). Identification and characterization of two closely related unclassifiable endogenous retroviruses in pythons (Python molurus and Python curtus). Journal of Virology, 76(15):7607-7615.

Abstract

Boid inclusion body disease (BIBD) is a fatal disorder of boid snakes that is suspected to be caused by a retrovirus. In order to identify this agent, leukocyte cultures (established from Python molurus specimens with symptoms of BIBD or kept together with such diseased animals) were assessed for reverse transcriptase (RT) activity. Virus from cultures exhibiting high RT activity was banded on sucrose density gradients, and the RT peak fraction was subjected to highly efficient procedures for the identification of unknown particle-associated retroviral RNA. A 7-kb full retroviral sequence was identified, cloned, and sequenced. This virus contained intact open reading frames (ORFs) for gag, pro, pol, and env, as well as another ORF of unknown function within pol. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the virus is distantly related to viruses from both the B and D types and the mammalian C type but cannot be classified. It is present as a highly expressed endogenous retrovirus in all P. molurus individuals; a closely related, but much less expressed virus was found in all tested Python curtus individuals. All other boid snakes tested, including Python regius, Python reticulatus, Boa constrictor, Eunectes notaeus, and Morelia spilota, were virus negative, independent of whether they had BIBD or not. Virus isolated from P. molurus could not be transmitted to the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of B. constrictor or P. regius. Thus, there is no indication that this novel virus, which we propose to name python endogenous retrovirus (PyERV), is causally linked with BIBD.

Boid inclusion body disease (BIBD) is a fatal disorder of boid snakes that is suspected to be caused by a retrovirus. In order to identify this agent, leukocyte cultures (established from Python molurus specimens with symptoms of BIBD or kept together with such diseased animals) were assessed for reverse transcriptase (RT) activity. Virus from cultures exhibiting high RT activity was banded on sucrose density gradients, and the RT peak fraction was subjected to highly efficient procedures for the identification of unknown particle-associated retroviral RNA. A 7-kb full retroviral sequence was identified, cloned, and sequenced. This virus contained intact open reading frames (ORFs) for gag, pro, pol, and env, as well as another ORF of unknown function within pol. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the virus is distantly related to viruses from both the B and D types and the mammalian C type but cannot be classified. It is present as a highly expressed endogenous retrovirus in all P. molurus individuals; a closely related, but much less expressed virus was found in all tested Python curtus individuals. All other boid snakes tested, including Python regius, Python reticulatus, Boa constrictor, Eunectes notaeus, and Morelia spilota, were virus negative, independent of whether they had BIBD or not. Virus isolated from P. molurus could not be transmitted to the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of B. constrictor or P. regius. Thus, there is no indication that this novel virus, which we propose to name python endogenous retrovirus (PyERV), is causally linked with BIBD.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Virology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 August 2002
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:28
Last Modified:01 Jun 2016 12:06
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:0022-538X
Additional Information:Copyright: American Society for Microbiology.
Publisher DOI:10.1128/JVI.76.15.7607-7615.2002
Related URLs:http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/content/full/76/15/7607?view=long&pmid=12097574
PubMed ID:12097574
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2142

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