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: 3.28). 08/2004; 325(1):24-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2004.04.033
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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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