A Novel Herpesvirus Associated with Hepatic Necrosis in a San Esteban Chuckwalla (Sauromalus varius)
James F.X. Wellehan1, DVM, MS; James L. Jarchow2, DVM; Carlos Reggiardo3, DVM, PhD; Elliott R. Jacobson1, MS, DVM, PhD, DACZM
1Zoological Medicine Service, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 1Orange Grove Animal Hospital, Tucson, AZ, USA; 3Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Tucson, AZ, USA
A San Esteban Chuckwalla (Sauromalus varius) died without previous signs of systemic illness. On necropsy, intranuclear inclusion bodies were seen in hepatocytes. The appearance of viral particles on electron microscopy was consistent with a herpesvirus. Degenerate PCR primers targeting a conserved region of herpesvirus DNA-dependent DNA polymerase were used to amplify products from paraffin embedded liver tissue. Nucleotide sequencing of the PCR product showed that the sequence from this lizard was novel. Comparative sequence analysis shows that this virus is a novel member of the subfamily alpha herpes virinae, and is here termed iguanid herpesvirus 2. Sequence phylogeny has implications for both viral and host evolution.