Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5), the likely etiologic agent of sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP), is predicted to be unevenly distributed within an infected turtle, in which productive virus replication and virion shedding occurs in cutaneous tumor keratinocytes. In this study, we measured and compared ChHV5 DNA quantities in tumors, skin, urine, major organs, and nervous tissue samples from green turtles Chelonia mydas. These samples were taken from the carcasses of 10 juvenile green turtles with and without clinical signs of FP that stranded in Florida during 2014. Quantitative PCR for ChHV5 UL30 was used to identify ChHV5 DNA in tumors, skin, heart, kidney, nerves, and urine sampled from five out of five FP-positive and three out of five FP-free turtles. The most frequently co-occurring sites were cutaneous tumor and kidney (n = 4). Novel data presented here include the identification of ChHV5 DNA in kidney, heart, and nerve samples from three FP-free turtles. These data support candidate nontumored anatomic sites of ChHV5 DNA localization and mobilization during two different disease states that may be involved in the ChHV5 infection cycle. Received September 8, 2016; accepted April 17, 2017.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science