Oval, firm, cutaneous tumours with a rough, hairless, pigmented surface, exhibiting a moderately pronounced papillary structure were detected on the abdominal skin of two young red deer (Cervus elaphus). One animal was shot in Lower Austria in 2004, the other at a deer farm in Hungary in 2007. Histological examination of both samples classified the tumours as fibropapillomas, showing marked proliferation of fibroblasts and connective tissue, accompanied by hyperkeratosis, parakeratosis and acanthosis of the overlaying epidermis, and occasional foci of inflammation. The distribution of cytokeratin and vimentin was characterised in the lesion. The presence of papillomavirus (PV) antigen was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry in both cases. Papillomavirus-specific DNA was successfully amplified by PCR from one sample. The obtained partial nucleotide sequence of the L2 ORF exhibited the highest critical identity values with the homologous regions of Delta-papillomaviruses, especially the Roe deer papillomavirus (93%). Phylogenetic analysis of the partial L2 ORF sequence alignment of 10 papillomaviruses by both neighbour-joining and maximum parsimony method confirmed that the Red deer PV is very closely related to the Western roe deer papillomavirus (CcPV1).
- Red deer
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