Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) papillomaviruses: Vaccine antigen candidates and screening test development
ABSTRACT Papillomaviruses (PVs) have been shown as being the etiologic agents of various benign and malignant tumours in many vertebrate species. In dolphins and porpoises, a high prevalence of orogenital tumours has recently been documented with at least four distinct novel species-specific PV types detected in such lesions. Therefore, we generated the immunological reagents to establish a serological screening test to determine the prevalence of PV infection in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins [(Tursiops truncatus (Tt)]. Using the baculovirus expression system, virus-like particles (VLPs) derived from the L1 proteins of two TtPV types, TtPV1 and TtPV2, were generated. Polyclonal antibodies against TtPV VLPs were produced in rabbits and their specificity for the VLPs was confirmed. Electron microscopy and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) studies revealed that the generated VLPs self-assembled into particles presenting conformational immunodominant epitopes. As such, these particles are potential antigen candidates for a TtPV vaccine. Subsequently, the VLPs served as antigens in initial ELISA tests using sera from six bottlenose dolphins to investigate PV antibody presence. Three of these sera were derived from dolphins with genital tumour history and showed positive PV ELISA reactivity, while the remaining sera from lesion-free dolphins were PV antibody-negative. The results suggest that the developed screening test may serve as a potential tool for determining PV prevalence and thus for observing transmission rates in dolphin populations as the significance of PV infection in cetaceans starts to unfold.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Annabel Rector, May 28, 2015
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ABSTRACT: The number of studies addressing neoplasia in marine mammals has recently increased, giving rise to concern whether such lesions could be reflective of an emerging infectious disease. Eight species-specific viruses, seven papillomaviruses (PVs) and two herpesviruses (HVs) have separately been shown to be associated with genital tumors in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, Tt): TtPV1-6, as well as HVs provisionally assigned the names DeHV4 and -5 (Delphinid HVs). A definite causal role of these viruses in cell transformation remains to be demonstrated. Concurrent PV- and HV-infection has never been reported in marine mammals. DNA extractions from biopsies of genital tumors derived from 15 free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins were selected for molecular examination. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses revealed the presence of DeHV4, while a serological screening using an antibody-based TtPV enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) demonstrated previous and/or current infection of the HV-positive dolphins with at least one TtPV type. Therefore, care must be taken when drawing conclusions about viral causalities in tumor development, since the "hit and run" and other mechanisms have been described for types of both viral families. This study presents the first evidence of marine mammals having a history of PV- as well as HV-infection and discusses the disputed effects of viral co-infection.Veterinary Microbiology 06/2012; 160(3-4). DOI:10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.05.042 · 2.73 Impact Factor
Marine Mammal Science 03/2014; 30(4). DOI:10.1111/mms.12124 · 1.82 Impact Factor