Feline sarcoids are rare mesenchymal neoplasms of domestic and exotic cats. Previous studies have consistently detected short DNA sequences from a papillomavirus (PV), designated feline sarcoid-associated papillomavirus (FeSarPV), in these neoplasms. The FeSarPV sequence has never been detected in any non-sarcoid sample from cats but has been amplified from the skin of cattle suggesting that feline sarcoids are caused by cross-species infection by a bovine papillomavirus (BPV). The aim of the present study was to determine the genome of the PV that contains the FeSarPV sequence. Using the circular nature of PV DNA, four specifically designed 'outward facing' primers were used to amplify two approximately 4,000 bp DNA segments from a feline sarcoid. The two PCR products were sequenced using next generation sequencing and the full genome of the PV, consisting 7,966 bp, was assembled and analysed. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the PV was closely related to the species 4 delta BPVs-1, -2, and -13, but distantly related to any carnivoran PV genus. These results are consistent with feline sarcoids being caused by a BPV type and we propose a classification of BPV-14 for this novel PV. Initial analysis suggests that, like other delta BPVs, the BPV-14 E5 protein could cause mesenchymal proliferation by binding to the platelet derived growth factor beta receptor. Interestingly BPV-14 has not been detected in any equine sarcoid suggesting that BPV-14 has a host range that is limited to bovids and felids.
Keywords: Bovine; Cat; Deltapapillomavirus; Feline sarcoid; Oncogenesis; Papilloma; Papillomavirus.
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