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Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a tumor disease of marine turtles associated with Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) that has historically been refractory to growth in tissue culture. Here, we show for the first time de novo formation of ChHV5-positive intranuclear inclusions in cultured green turtle cells, which is indicative for active lytic replication of the virus. The minimal requirements to achieve lytic replication in cultured cells included 1) either in-vitro culturing of ChHV5-positive tumor biopsies or organotypic cultures consisting of ChHV5-positive turtle fibroblasts in collagen rafts seeded with ChHV5-negative or -positive turtle keratinocytes and 2) keratinocyte maturation, which occurred naturally in explanted...
Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a tumor disease associated with a herpesvirus (Chelonid herpesvirus 5-ChHV5) that affects mainly green turtles globally. Understanding the epidemiology of FP has been hampered by lack of robust serological assays to monitor exposure to ChHV5. This is due in part to inability to efficiently culture the virus in vitro for neutralization assays. Here, we expressed two glycoproteins (FUS4 and FUS8) from ChHV5 using baculovirus. These proteins were immobilized on ELISA plates in their native form, and assayed for reactivity to two types of antibodies, the full length 7S and truncated 5.7S IgY. In Florida, turtles were uniformly seropositive regardless of tumor status. In contrast, in Hawaii,...

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