Identification of a novel species of papillomavirus in giraffe lesions using nanopore sequencing

Papillomaviridae form a large family of viruses that are known to infect a variety of vertebrates, including mammals, reptiles, birds and fish. Infections usually give rise to minor skin lesions but can in some cases lead to the development of malignant neoplasia. In this study, we identified a novel species of papillomavirus (PV), isolated from warts of four giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis). The sequence of the L1 gene was determined and found to be identical for all isolates. Using nanopore sequencing, the full sequence of the PV genome could be determined. The coding region of the genome was found to contain seven open reading frames (ORF), encoding the early proteins E1, E2 and E5-E7 as well as the late proteins L1 and L2. In addition to these ORFs, a region located within the E2 gene is thought, based on sequence similarities to other papillomaviruses, to encode an E4 protein, although no start codon could be identified. Based on the sequence of the L1 gene, this novel PV was found to be most similar to Capreolus capreolus papillomavirus 1 (CcaPV1), with 67.96% nucleotide identity. We therefore suggestthatthe virus identified here is given the name Giraffa camelopardalis papillomavirus 1 (GcPV1) and is classified as a novel species within the genus Deltapapillomavirus, in line with the current guidelines for the nomenclature and classification of PVs.

Last Updated
January 26, 2021
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