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New Viruses from Lacerta monticola (Serra da Estrela, Portugal): Further Evidence for a New Group of Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Large Deoxyriboviruses

  • António Pedro Alves de Matos (a1) (a2), Maria Filomena Alcobia da Silva Trabucho Caeiro (a2) (a3), Tibor Papp (a4), Bruno André da Cunha Almeida Matos (a1), Ana Cristina Lacerda Correia (a1) and Rachel E. Marschang (a4)...


Lizard erythrocytic viruses (LEVs) have previously been described in Lacerta monticola from Serra da Estrela, Portugal. Like other known erythrocytic viruses of heterothermic vertebrates, these viruses have never been adapted to cell cultures and remain uncharacterized at the molecular level. In this study, we made attempts to adapt the virus to cell cultures that resulted instead in the isolation of a previously undetected Ranavirus closely related to FV3. The Ranavirus was subsequently detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the blood of infected lizards using primers for a conserved portion of the Ranavirus major capsid protein gene. Electron microscopic study of the new Ranavirus disclosed, among other features, the presence of intranuclear viruses that may be related to an unrecognized intranuclear morphogenetic process. Attempts to detect by PCR a portion of the DNA polymerase gene of the LEV in infected lizard blood were successful. The recovered sequence had 65.2/69.4% nt/aa% homology with a previously detected sequence from a snake erythrocytic virus from Florida, which is ultrastructurally different from the studied LEV. These results further support the hypothesis that erythrocytic viruses are related to one another and may represent a new group of nucleo-cytoplasmic large deoxyriboviruses.


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