Serial cultivation of cell lines derived from lung, testis, periorbital and tumor tissues of a green turtle (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomas resulted in the in vitro formation of tumor-like cell aggregates, ranging in size from 0.5 to 2.0 mm in diameter. Successful induction of tumor-like aggregates was achieved in a cell line derived from lung tissue of healthy green turtles, following inoculation with cell-free media from these tumor-bearing cell lines, suggesting the presence of a transmissible agent. Thin-section electron microscopy of the cell aggregates revealed massive collagen deposits and intranuclear naked viral particles, measuring 50??5 nm in diameter. These findings, together with the morphological similarity between these tumor-like cell aggregates and the naturally occurring tumor, suggest a possible association between this novel virus and the disease. Further characterization of this small naked virus will clarify its role in etiology of green turtle fibropapilloma, a life-threatening disease of this endangered marine species. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
Additional publication details
Identification of a small, naked virus in tumor-like aggregates in cell lines derived from a green turtle, Chelonia mydas, with fibropapillomas