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Papillomatosis in marsupials bandicoots: pathology, virology and treatment

O'Hara, A.J., Woolford, L., Bennett, M.D., Rector, A., Van Ranst, M., Ducki, A., Nicholls, P.K., Swan, R.A., Wilcox, G.E. and Warren, K.S. (2008) Papillomatosis in marsupials bandicoots: pathology, virology and treatment. In: Australian Society for Veterinary Pathology (ASVP) Conference, 3 - 6 July, Surfers Paradise, Queensland.


In 2002 a research group composed of scientists and veterinarians from the Department of Conservation and Land Management and Murdoch University started a collaborative research project to investigate a debilitating papillomatosis and carcinomatosis syndrome affecting the endangered western barred bandicoot (WBB; Perameles bougainville). One of the achievements of this project was the detection and characterisation of a novel viral agent in association with this disease, -the bandicoot papillomatosis and carcinomatosis vinus type 1 (BPCV1). This discovery was very exciting for our group because in addition to identifying a presumptive causal agent for this disease we had also discovered a novel virus with features intermediate between the Papillomaviridae and Polyomaviridae. As fate would have it, subsequent investigation of similar skin lesions in a southern brown bandicoot (lsoodon obesulus) led to the equally exciting discovery of a related novel virus, bandicoot papillomatosis carcinomatosis virus type 2 (BPCV2). This discovery confirmed , reinforced and complemented the research already undertaken with BPCV1, and supported the identification of 2 related viruses belonging to a unique group of double-stranded circular DNA viruses which may be the first 2 members of a new family of viruses. Having identified a probable cause of papillomatosis in western barred bandicoots and southern brown bandicoots, prophylactic and therapeutic modalities are now being investigated in an effort to find ways to prevent and/or treat these syndromes, thereby improving the welfare of these animals.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
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