Patricia E. Kunze1; Galaxia Cortés-Hinojosa2, MV, MSc; Linda L. Archer2, BS; Cathy Williams3, DVM; James F.X. Wellehan Jr.2, DVM, PhD, DACZM, DACVM
1College of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil; 2Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 3The Duke Lemur Center, Durham, NC, USA
Herpesviruses are important human and non-human primate pathogens, having their most significant impact, most of the time, after crossing over from their natural host to an aberrant host. Although many studies have been done to characterize catarrhine and platyrrhine herpesviruses, nothing is known about their impact in the prosimian population. Herpesvirus-like particles have previously been reported from a loris with lymphoma.1 The objective of this study was to identify and characterize possible herpesviruses in prosimians with proliferative lymphocytic disease. DNA was extracted from nine gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) samples and nested PCRs with previously described primers for detection of herpesviruses and polyomaviruses were performed. The amplification products were separated by agarose gel electrophoresis; the bands of interest were cut out and sequenced. Two novel herpesviruses were identified. Phylogenetic analyses were performed to characterize their relationship with other herpesviruses; one of them clustered with other primate herpesviruses within the subfamily Betaherpesvirinae. The other one clustered within the subfamily Gammaherpesvirinae, although the relationship within the subfamily was less resolved. To quantify the amount of virus present in the samples, a qPCR assay was developed with conserved regions of the new viruses, providing specific faster, less expensive, and quantitative diagnostic tools.
1. Stetter MD, Worley MB, Ruiz B. Herpesvirus-associated malignant lymphoma in a slow loris (Nycticebus coucang). J Zoo Wildl Med. 1995;26:155–160.