Feline papillomas and papillomaviruses.

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Antibodies-Monoclonal, Blotting-Southern, Carnivora, Cat-Diseases, Cats, DNA-Viral, Epitope-Mapping, Female, Immunohistochemistry, Lions, Male, Microscopy-Electron, Papilloma, Papillomavirus, Papovaviridae-Infections, Skin-Neoplasms, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S, Tongue-Neoplasms, Tumor-Virus-Infections

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Vet Pathol 2000 Jan; 37(1):1-10.


CA34196/CA/NCI, AR43801/AR/NIAMS


Papillomaviruses (PVs) are highly species- and site-specific pathogens of stratified squamous epithelium. Although PV infections in the various Felidae are rarely reported, we identified productive infections in six cat species. PV-induced proliferative skin or mucous membrane lesions were confirmed by immunohistochemical screening for papillomavirus-specific capsid antigens. Seven monoclonal antibodies, each of which reacts with an immunodominant antigenic determinant of the bovine papillomavirus L1 gene product, revealed that feline PV capsid epitopes were conserved to various degrees. This battery of monoclonal antibodies established differential expression patterns among cutaneous and oral PVs of snow leopards and domestic cats, suggesting that they represent distinct viruses. Clinically, the lesions in all species and anatomic sites were locally extensive and frequently multiple. Histologically, the areas of epidermal hyperplasia were flat with a similarity to benign tumors induced by cutaneotropic, carcinogenic PVs in immunosuppressed human patients. Limited restriction endonuclease analyses of viral genomic DNA confirmed the variability among three viral genomes recovered from available frozen tissue. Because most previous PV isolates have been species specific, these studies suggest that at least eight different cat papillomaviruses infect the oral cavity (tentative designations: Asian lion, Panthera leo, P1PV; snow leopard, Panthera uncia, PuPV-1; bobcat, Felis rufus, FrPV; Florida panther, Felis concolor, FcPV; clouded leopard, Neofelis nebulosa NnPV; and domestic cat, Felis domesticus, FdPV-2) or skin (domestic cat, F. domesticus, FdPV-1; and snow leopard, P. uncia, PuPV-2).

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