Polyomavirus infection in a free-ranging california sea lion (Zalophus californianus) with intestinal T-cell lymphoma

Kathleen M. Colegrove, James F X Wellehan, Rebecca Rivera, Peter F Moore, Frances M D Gulland, Linda J Lowenstine, Robert W. Nordhausen, Hendrik H. Nollens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


An adult female California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) that stranded in central California was found to have a small glossal polypoid mass on gross necropsy. Histologically, the mass was consistent with a fibropapilloma, and intranuclear inclusions were found within endothelial cells lining small arterioles within the mass. Electron microscopy revealed 40-nm virions within endothelial intranuclear inclusions. Rolling circle amplification was used to obtain a partial viral genomic sequence. Sequence analysis identified the virus as a novel polyomavirus, tentatively named California sea lion polyomavirus 1. In addition, the sea lion had a severely thickened small intestine and swollen pale kidneys on gross examination. Severe renal amyloidosis with chronic interstitial nephritis was diagnosed histologically as well as T-cell intestinal lymphoma, which was confirmed via immunophenotyping and molecular clonality. The relationship, if any, between polyomavirus infection and the other disease processes in this sea lion is not known, but it is considered unlikely that the polyomavirus induced the lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-632
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


  • California sea lion
  • Fibropapilloma
  • Molecular clonality
  • Polyomavirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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