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J Virol. 2007 Dec;81(24):13280-90. Epub 2007 Sep 26.

A novel virus detected in papillomas and carcinomas of the endangered western barred bandicoot (Perameles bougainville) exhibits genomic features of both the Papillomaviridae and Polyomaviridae.

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School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch, Western Australia, Australia.


Conservation efforts to prevent the extinction of the endangered western barred bandicoot (Perameles bougainville) are currently hindered by a progressively debilitating cutaneous and mucocutaneous papillomatosis and carcinomatosis syndrome observed in captive and wild populations. In this study, we detected a novel virus, designated the bandicoot papillomatosis carcinomatosis virus type 1 (BPCV1), in lesional tissue from affected western barred bandicoots using multiply primed rolling-circle amplification and PCR with the cutaneotropic papillomavirus primer pairs FAP59/FAP64 and AR-L1F8/AR-L1R9. Sequencing of the BPCV1 genome revealed a novel prototype virus exhibiting genomic properties of both the Papillomaviridae and the Polyomaviridae. Papillomaviral properties included a large genome size ( approximately 7.3 kb) and the presence of open reading frames (ORFs) encoding canonical L1 and L2 structural proteins. The genomic organization in which structural and nonstructural proteins were encoded on different strands of the double-stranded genome and the presence of ORFs encoding the nonstructural proteins large T and small t antigens were, on the other hand, typical polyomaviral features. BPCV1 may represent the first member of a novel virus family, descended from a common ancestor of the papillomaviruses and polyomaviruses recognized today. Alternatively, it may represent the product of ancient recombination between members of these two virus families. The discovery of this virus could have implications for the current taxonomic classification of Papillomaviridae and Polyomaviridae and can provide further insight into the evolution of these ancient virus families.

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