Novel Herpesvirus Associated With Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Smooth Green Snakes (Opheodrys vernalis)

Jessica N. Lovstad, Robert J. Ossiboff, Michael J. Kinsel, Kathryn C. Gamble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

During a 19-month period, 5 smooth green snakes (Opheodrys vernalis) maintained as an ex situ conservation colony presented with rapid clinical progression of locally invasive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. All 5 originated from the same wild source and were housed together or in close proximity. An infectious cause was considered likely, and nested conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and in situ hybridization confirmed the presence of a novel alphaherpesvirus, Opheodrys herpesvirus 1, in the neoplastic tissue in 4 of the 5 snakes. Retrospective screening of previously submitted smooth green snakes by in situ hybridization did not detect virus in prior submissions from the colony. This report documents molecular characterization of an ophidian herpesvirus as well as colocalization of its viral nucleic acid with neoplastic transformation in snakes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-635
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary pathology
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Opheodrys herpesvirus 1
  • Opheodrys vernalis
  • colubrid
  • herpesvirus
  • in situ hybridization
  • smooth green snake
  • squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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