A virus was isolated from tissues of 2 diseased Hermann’s tortoises ( Testudo hermanni ) and preliminarily characterized as an iridovirus. This conclusion was based on the presence of inclusion bodies in the cytoplasm of infected cells, sensitivity to chloroform, inhibition of virus replication by 5-iodo-2′-desoxyuridine and the size and icosahedral morphology of viral particles. The virus was able to replicate in several reptilian, avian and mammalian cell lines at 28°C, but not at 37°C. Restriction enzyme analysis showed resistance of the ral DNA to digestion with HpaII due to methylation of the internal cytosine at CCGG sequences. Part of the genomic region encoding the major capsid protein was amplified by PCR and subjected to sequence analysis. Comparative analysis of the obtained nucleotide sequence revealed that the isolate is closely related to frog virus 3, the type species of the genus Ranavirus .
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 1999
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