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Papillomatosis and carcinomatosis in the western barred bandicoot (Perameles bougainville)

Woolford, Lucy (2008) Papillomatosis and carcinomatosis in the western barred bandicoot (Perameles bougainville). PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Conservation efforts to prevent the extinction of the endangered western barred bandicoot Perameles bougainville (WBB) are currently hindered by a debilitating progressive papillomatosis and carcinomatosis syndrome. Now extinct on mainland Australia, wild populations of the WBB are known only to exist on Bernier and Dorre Islands in Shark Bay, Western Australia. This thesis describes and analyses the pathological (gross, histological, ultrastructural) and immunohistochemical features of a papillomatosis and carcinomatosis syndrome in the WBB. The detection and characterisation of a novel virus, the bandicoot papillomatosis carcinomatosis virus type 1 (BPCV1), found in association with cutaneous and muco-cutaneous papillomas and carcinomas, is described. BPCV1 was found to exhibit genomic and morphological features of both the Papillomaviridae and the Polyomaviridae, and may represent the first member of a new family of viruses. The findings of this study provide evidence that BPCV1 is the causative agent of the papillomatosis and carcinomatosis syndrome. Clinical, pathological and molecular evidence of the syndrome and BPCV1 were found in the Bernier Island WBB population at Red Cliff and in captive populations comprising all or a proportion of founder WBBs from this site, but not at all in the WBB population on Dorre Island or Heirisson Prong. The papillomatosis and carcinomatosis syndrome in the western barred bandicoot is a pertinent example of a disease process hampering efforts to prevent the extinction of an endangered species.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Supervisor(s): O'Hara, Amanda, Nicholls, Philip and Warren, Kristin
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