Co-infection with California Sea Lion Adenovirus 1 and a Novel Polyomavirus in a Hawaiian Monk Seal (Monachus schauinslandi)
The Hawaiian monk seal (HMS, Monachus schauinslandi) is a critically endangered species with less than 1,200 individuals left. Here, we present a clinical case of a 26-year-old male Hawaiian monk seal with a history of poor appetite followed by the development of renal and heart disease, but no clinical evidence of hepatic disease. Histologic examination found eosinophilic intranuclear inclusions in the liver, compatible with a herpesvirus, adenovirus and/or polyomavirus. We used consensus nested PCR protocols to test for these viruses.2-4 Icosahedral virions of 70–80 mm, compatible with adenoviruses, were seen using electron microscopy. Cell culture cytopathic effects were compatible with an adenoviral infection. Finally, the sample was positive for adenovirus and polyomavirus via PCR/sequencing. The adenoviral polymerase sequence obtained was 100% homologous to California sea lion adenovirus-1 (CSLAdV-1). CSLAdV-1 is associated with viral hepatitis in California sea lions and there have been recent reports of fulminant hepatitis in other species of otariids in an aquarium in Japan (Otaria flavescens and Arctocephalus pusillus).4 The sequence has been submitted in GenBank as Otaria flavescens adenovirus-1 in Spain. This is the first report of CSLAdV-1 infection in a phocid, and suggests that this virus may be a concern in diverse pinniped collections. The polyomavirus is novel and is the first polyomavirus found in Hawaiian monk seals. This new virus is 83% homologous to California sea lion polyomavirus-1. This is the first report of viral co-infection in a Hawaiian monk seal. The clinical significance of both viruses in the overall clinical case remains unclear.
The diagnostic assay for CSLAdV1 was developed using Prescott grant award number: NA12NMF4390156 to JFXW.
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