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Cutaneous papillomatosis and carcinomatosis in the highly endangered Western Barred Bandicoot

O'Hara, A.J., Warren, K.S.ORCID: 0000-0002-9328-2013, Swan, R.A., Simms, C. and Friend, J.A. (2004) Cutaneous papillomatosis and carcinomatosis in the highly endangered Western Barred Bandicoot. Veterinary Dermatology, 15 (s1). p. 25.

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The Western Barred Bandicoot (WBB) is a highly endangered marsupial, only existing in the wild in Western Australia. Conservation efforts using captive breeding programmes to prevent the extinction of the WBB are being hampered by a progressively debilitating, wart-like syndrome in captive and wild WBB. Multicentric proliferative lesions have been observed predominately over the face and feet of captive and wild populations of WBB. Introduction of apparently healthy, wild WBB into captive colonies of WBB affected with the skin lesions has been associated with the subsequent development of the skin lesions in the introduced bandicoots. Grossly and histologically, the smaller skin lesions resemble papillomas, whereas the larger lesions demonstrate malignant transformation into carcinomas. Chlamydial organisms have been detected in association with the lesions; however, their role in the pathogenesis of the lesions is unknown. Rarely, large intranuclear inclusion bodies have been observed in proliferative epithelium under light microscopy, suggesting a viral aetiology. Papilloma, polyoma and herpes viruses have all been reported in association with neoplastic transformation of cutaneous epithelial structures in a variety of vertebrate species. Preliminary examination of skin lesions from five WBB has utilized light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, indirect immunohistochemistry for papillomavirus, and PCR tests for murine polyoma virus, human papilloma virus and conserved herpes virus sequences. None of these tests has definitively identified an aetiological agent. Further research is being undertaken using degenerate PCR primers targeting highly conserved regions of genes from papilloma, polyoma and herpes viruses to further investigate the possibility of a viral aetiology.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Copyright: 2004 European Society of Veterinary Dermatology
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