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Sea Turtle Virus Question

Tue Feb 20 01:36:05 EST 1996

          Ursula Keuper-Bennett (howzit at io.org), in a posting to the
          virology newsgroup about sea turtles, wrote:

          >I would just like to know if anyone is aware of another
          >viral disease that has such a strong association with
          >the eyes .... but then cause the entire body to break out
          >in tumours.

          There a several viruses of fish that cause
          fibroproliferative tumours of the skin and other tissues.
          These tumours can occasionally affect the eyes, although
          they would rarely originate in the eyes. At this stage I do
          not have specific case reports regarding which of the
          following virus-induced tumours have been associated with
          eye lesions in fish, but they should be considered as
          potential models for the condition you are observing:

               Lymphocystis virus, an iridovirus

               Walleye dermal fibrosarcoma virus, a retrovirus

          As well as causing multiple tumours in specific
          sites or disseminated throughout the body, lymphosarcomas
          may also lodge in the eyes. Some lymphosarcomas have been
          associated with viruses:

               Lymphosarcoma of pike and muskellunge, retrovirus-like
               particles have been observed by electron microscopy in
               affected tissue

               Adult T cell leukaemia/lymphoma of humans caused
               by human T lymphotrophic virus type I

               Feline lymphosarcoma caused by feline leukaemia virus

               Enzootic bovine leucosis caused by bovine leukaemia

          Two orbiviruses, Wallal and Warrego viruses, have recently
          been isolated from the eyes of kangaroos with choroid
          blindness in Australia. Inoculation of these viruses into
          kangaroos has reproduced the eye pathology. However, there
          is no evidence of an association with tumours.

          It may also be worth considering bacterial diseases such as
          mycobacteriosis as causes of multiple proliferative lesions
          including lesions in the eyes.

          Some of the above comments of mine would have to be
          dismissed according to the results of histopathological
          examinations on the lesions.

          Adrian W Philbey
          Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute
          Private Mail Bag 8
          Camden  NSW  2570

          philbea at agric.nsw.gov.au
          nswema05 at angis.su.oz.au

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