Psittacid herpesviruses associated with mucosal papillomas in neotropical parrots

Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.
Virology (Impact Factor: 3.32). 08/2004; 325(1):24-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2004.04.033
Source: PubMed


Mucosal papillomas are relatively common lesions in several species of captive neotropical parrots. They cause considerable morbidity and in some cases, result in mortality. Previous efforts to identify papillomavirus DNA and proteins in these lesions have been largely unsuccessful. In contrast, increasing evidence suggests that mucosal papillomas may contain psittacid herpesviruses (PsHVs). In this study, 41 papillomas from 30 neotropical parrots were examined by PCR with PsHV-specific primers. All 41 papillomas were found to contain PsHV DNA. This 100% prevalence of PsHV infection in the papilloma population was found to be significantly higher than PsHV infection prevalence observed in other surveys of captive parrots. PsHV genotypes 1, 2, and 3, but not 4 were found in these lesions. Psittacus erithacus papillomavirus DNA and finch papillomavirus DNA were not found in the papillomas. A papilloma from a hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) was found to contain cells that had immunoreactivity to antiserum made to the common antigenic region of human papillomavirus (HPV) L1 major capsid protein. However, four other mucosal papillomas were negative for this immunoreactivity, and negative control tissues from a parrot embryo showed a similar staining pattern to that seen in the cloaca papilloma of the hyacinth macaw, strongly suggesting that the staining seen in hyacinth macaw papilloma was nonspecific. Based on these findings, it was concluded that specific genotypes of PsHV play a direct role in the development of mucosal papillomas of neotropical parrots and there is no evidence to suggest the concurrent presence of a papillomavirus in these lesions.

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Available from: Laurie A Jaeger, Jul 03, 2014
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    • "Similar to other herpesvirus infections, if a bird survives the initial infection, either asymptomatically or with acute manifestations of the disease, then it may become latently infected (Styles et al. 2004). Mucosal papillomas have developed in a small to moderate percentage of parrots that survived acute PsHV infection (Styles et al. 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Internal papillomatous disease (IPD) is characterized by mucosal papillomas occurring primarily in the oral cavity and cloaca of Neotropical parrots. These lesions can cause considerable morbidity, and in some cases result in mortality. Efforts to demonstrate papillomavirus DNA or proteins in the lesions have been largely unsuccessful. However, increasing evidence suggests that mucosal papillomas may contain psittacid herpesviruses (PsHVs). In this study, PsHV 1 genotype 1, 2, and 3 DNA was found in 100% of mucosal papillomas from 30 Neotropical parrots by PCR using PsHV specific primers. However, Psittacus erithacus papillomavirus and finch papillomavirus DNA were not detected. Additionally, a novel PsHV sequence related to, but phylogenetically distinct from PsHV 1, was identified in 4 African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), two of which exhibited papillomas. These findings suggest that mucosal papillomas may develop in parrots latently infected with PsHV. Tumors of the bile and pancreatic ducts have also been observed in parrots with IPD. Other mucosal tumors including carcinomas of the proventriculus and ventriculus may be coincident with bile duct tumors, but cloacal carcinomas usually develop as solitary lesions. To test whether PsHV was associated with these tumors, the fresh tissues from 11 parrots and the formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues of 5 parrots exhibiting mucosal tumors were examined by PCR. All tumors were found to contain PsHV 1 genotype 3 DNA except one bird with a cloacal carcinoma that contained genotype 4. Histologically normal tissues available from six parrots did not contain PsHV DNA. Experiments were performed using the FFPE tissues of 5 parrots with IPD related tumors known to contain PsHV by PCR, to show that the virus was in significantly higher concentration in the neoplastic tissue compared to adjacent histologically normal tissue. Neoplastic and adjacent unaffected cells were dissected from the tissues using laser capture microdissection and the DNA was examined by PCR. In situ hybridization using PsHV specific probes and direct in situ PCR were also performed on the tissues. A strong association was shown between infection by PsHV 1 genotype 3 and birds manifesting IPD related tumors and other neoplasms of the digestive tract.
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