Molecular evidence for horizontal transmission of chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 at green turtle (Chelonia mydas) foraging grounds in Queensland, Australia

Jones, K., Burgess, G., Budd, A.M., Huerlimann, R., Mashkour, N., and Ariel, E. (2020) Molecular evidence for horizontal transmission of chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 at green turtle (Chelonia mydas) foraging grounds in Queensland, Australia. PLoS ONE, 15 (1). e0227268.

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Abstract

Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a marine turtle disease recognised by benign tumours on the skin, eyes, shell, oral cavity and/or viscera. Despite being a globally distributed disease that affects an endangered species, research on FP and its likely causative agent chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) in Australia is limited. Here we present improved molecular assays developed for detection of ChHV5, in combination with a robust molecular and phylogenetic analysis of ChHV5 variants. This approach utilised a multi-gene assay to detect ChHV5 in all FP tumors sampled from 62 marine turtles found at six foraging grounds along the Great Barrier Reef. Six distinct variants of ChHV5 were identified and the distribution of these variants was associated with host foraging ground. Conversely, no association between host genetic origin and ChHV5 viral variant was found. Together this evidence supports the hypothesis that marine turtles undergo horizontal transmission of ChHV5 at foraging grounds and are unlikely to be contracting the disease at rookeries, either during mating or vertically from parent to offspring.

Item ID: 61391
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: © 2020 Jones et al.
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2020 23:32
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060506 Virology @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960407 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Marine Environments @ 70%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 15%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 15%
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