Papillomaviruses (PVs) are a group of small, non-enveloped DNA viruses that cause mucosal or cutaneous neoplasia in a variety of animals. Whilst most papillomas will regress spontaneously, some may persist or undergo malignant transformation. In this study, aggressive, persistent and extensive warts were observed on the hands and feet of a cynomolgus macaque (Macaca fascicularis). The presence of PV in the wart biopsies was identified by immunohistochemistry and PCR amplification of PV DNA. The genomic DNA of this PV was cloned and sequenced, and the PV was designated M. fascicularis papillomavirus type 1 (MfPV-1). Its genome was 7588 bp in length and the organization of its putative open reading frames (E1, E2, E6, E7, L1, L2 and E4) was similar to that of other PVs. MfPV-1 had a short non-coding region (NCR) of 412 bp. Molecular analysis of MfPV-1 genomic DNA classified it into the genus Betapapillomavirus, to which all epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV)-type PVs belong. Diseases caused by PVs of the genus Betapapillomavirus are usually associated with natural or iatrogenic immunosuppression. The genomic characterization performed in this study showed that MfPV-1 clustered within the genus Betapapillomavirus and also contained EV-type-specific motifs in its NCR. Further characterization of this virus and its host interactions may allow us to develop a non-human primate model for human betapapillomaviruses, a genus populated by human PV types causing EV.
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