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Fatal systemic necrotizing infections associated with a novel paramyxovirus, anaconda paramyxovirus, in green anaconda juveniles.


ABSTRACT: Beginning in July 2011, 31 green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) juveniles from an oceanarium in Hong Kong died over a 12-month period. Necropsy revealed at least two of the following features in 23 necropsies: dermatitis, severe pan-nephritis, and/or severe systemic multiorgan necrotizing inflammation. Histopathological examination revealed severe necrotizing inflammation in various organs, most prominently the kidneys. Electron microscopic examination of primary tissues revealed intralesional accumulations of viral nucleocapsids with diameters of 10 to 14 nm, typical of paramyxoviruses. Reverse transcription (RT)-PCR results were positive for paramyxovirus (viral loads of 2.33 × 10(4) to 1.05 × 10(8) copies/mg tissue) in specimens from anaconda juveniles that died but negative in specimens from the two anaconda juveniles and anaconda mother that survived. None of the other snakes in the park was moribund, and RT-PCR results for surveillance samples collected from other snakes were negative. The virus was isolated from BHK21 cells, causing cytopathic effects with syncytial formation. The virus could also replicate in 25 of 27 cell lines of various origins, in line with its capability for infecting various organs. Electron microscopy with cell culture material revealed enveloped virus with the typical "herringbone" appearance of helical nucleocapsids in paramyxoviruses. Complete genome sequencing of five isolates confirmed that the infections originated from the same clone. Comparative genomic and phylogenetic analyses and mRNA editing experiments revealed a novel paramyxovirus in the genus Ferlavirus, named anaconda paramyxovirus, with a typical Ferlavirus genomic organization of 3'-N-U-P/V/I-M-F-HN-L-5'. Epidemiological and genomic analyses suggested that the anaconda juveniles acquired the virus perinatally from the anaconda mother rather than from other reptiles in the park, with subsequent interanaconda juvenile transmission.

SUBMITTER: Woo PC 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4187747 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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