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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 149:1-10 (2022)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03656

Characterization of novel papillomavirus from free-ranging Antillean manatee Trichechus manatus manatus with genital papillomatosis

Antonio A. Mignucci-Giannoni1,2,*, Lesly J. Cabrias-Contreras1, Michelle M. Dennis2,3, Sylma M. Escobar-Torres1, Shin-je Ghim4, Elizabeth W. Howerth5, Nelmarie Landrau-Giovannetti1, Antonio L. Rivera-Guzmán1, Carla I. Rivera-Pérez1,2, Joongho J. Joh4

1Caribbean Manatee Conservation Center, Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón, PR 00957, USA
2Center for Conservation Medicine and Ecosystem Health, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Basseterre, St. Kitts
3Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA
4James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, USA
5Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The Antillean manatee Trichechus manatus manatus is an Endangered species living along the Atlantic coasts of the Americas from Florida (USA), throughout the Caribbean, to Brazil. In July 2020, a manatee with multiple wounds due to boat-inflicted trauma was rescued from the coast east of Cayo Mata, Salinas, Puerto Rico. This manatee had neutropenia, leukopenia, and monocytosis associated with immunosuppression and nutritional deficiency anemia, as well as bacteria and fungi within the lesions. The manatee had genital lesions which included papules and linear plaques, microscopically characterized by mucosal hyperplasia with cytopathic changes typical of papillomavirus infection. Superficial epithelial cells had strong nuclear immunolabeling when examined using a monoclonal antibody specific to papillomavirus. The sequencing data of PCR products with papillomavirus-specific degenerative primers indicated that these lesions contained a novel manatee papillomavirus (Trichechus manatus papillomavirus, TmPV). The genomic DNA was amplified using a rolling circle amplification, and fully sequenced to be 7586 bp (GenBank accession no. OK073977). Other TmPVs were previously isolated from Florida manatees T. manatus latirostris. This novel virus was designated TmPV type 5 (TmPV5) based on its genomic characterization and sequence comparison. The TmPV5 genome shared 50.7, 48.9, 69.4, and 62.1% similarities with TmPV1, TmPV2, TmPV3, and TmPV4, respectively. TmPV5 is classified in the genus Rhopapillomavirus together with other manatee papillomaviruses. After 2.5 mo of veterinary treatment and rehabilitation, the manatee recovered and was released. This is the first report of papillomatosis in a free-ranging Antillean manatee.


KEY WORDS: Papilloma · Genetics · Trichechus manatus papillomavirus · TmPV · Virus


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Cite this article as: Mignucci-Giannoni AA, Cabrias-Contreras LJ, Dennis MM, Escobar-Torres SM and others (2022) Characterization of novel papillomavirus from free-ranging Antillean manatee Trichechus manatus manatus with genital papillomatosis. Dis Aquat Org 149:1-10. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03656

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