Novel polyomaviral infection in the placenta of a northern fur seal (callorhinus ursinus) on the pribilof islands, Alaska, USA

Colleen Duncan, Tracey Goldstein, Carol Hearne, Tom Gelatt, Terry Spraker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Viruses of the family Polyomaviridae infect a wide variety of avian and mammalian hosts with a broad spectrum of outcomes including asymptomatic infection, acute systemic disease, and tumor induction. In 2010, intranuclear viral inclusion bodies were identified in trophoblasts of a single northern fur seal (NFS; Callorhinus ursinus) placenta from a presumed healthy birth on St. Paul Island, Alaska. On transmission electron microscopy, virions were approximately 40 nm in diameter and were arranged in paracrystalline arrays within the nucleus. The tissue was positive for the polyomaviral major capsid gene (VP1) by PCR, and the sequenced product revealed a novel Orthopolyomavirus. Twentynine additional NFS placentas, devoid of viral inclusions on histologic examination, were tested for polyomavirus by PCR; all were negative. The significance of this novel virus for the infected animal is unknown, but the virus does not appear to be very prevalent within the placentas from newborn northern fur seal pups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-167
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Wildlife Diseases
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • Alaska
  • Callorhinus ursinus
  • Northern fur seal
  • Orthopolyomavirus
  • Placenta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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