Quantitative real-time PCR has been used to measure fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV) pol DNA loads in fibropapillomas, fibromas, and uninvolved tissues of green, loggerhead, and olive ridley turtles from Hawaii, Florida, Costa Rica, Australia, Mexico, and the West Indies. The viral DNA loads from tumors obtained from terminal animals were relatively homogenous (range 2a??20 copies/cell), whereas DNA copy numbers from biopsied tumors and skin of otherwise healthy turtles displayed a wide variation (range 0.001a??170 copies/cell) and may reflect the stage of tumor development. FPTHV DNA loads in tumors were 2.5a??4.5 logs higher than in uninvolved skin from the same animal regardless of geographic location, further implying a role for FPTHV in the etiology of fibropapillomatosis. Although FPTHV pol sequences amplified from tumors are highly related to each other, single signature amino acid substitutions distinguish the Australia/Hawaii, Mexico/Costa Rica, and Florida/Caribbean groups.
Additional Publication Details
Quantitative analysis of herpes virus sequences from normal tissue and fibropapillomas of marine turtles with real-time PCR