wildlife and zoo assay data sheet
- Ultrasensitive qualitative detection but not differentiation
of macropod herpesviruses 1 and 2 by real time polymerase
S0162 - Ultrasensitive qualitative
detection of macropod herpesvirus 3 by real time polymerase
Macropodid herpesviruses (MaHVs) have caused fatal disease
outbreaks among captive marsupials in Australia. These outbreaks
resulted in the isolation of nine MaHVs, grouped into two
species, macropodid herpesviruses 1 and 2 (MaHV-1 and MaHV-2).
Serological surveys show that these viruses are widespread among
Australian kangaroos and wallabies (family Macropodidae).
Phylogenetic reconstructions based on putative amino acid
sequences of glycoprotein B indicate that MaHV-1 and -2 are most
closely related to subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae. Within this
subfamily, MaHV-1 and -2 are closely associated with
herpesviruses that infect primates.
Recently a new species of macropodid herpesvirus, MaHV-3, has
been discovered in a group of free-ranging eastern grey
kangaroos (Wilcox et al., 2011). This virus is more closely
related to the subfamily Gammaherpesvirinae than to MaHV-1 and
Infections of macropodids by any of these three viruses can
result in congestion of lung, liver, and spleen. Infected
animals may have high fever, respiratory rales, conjunctivitis,
and small vesicles in the ano-genital region. Similar to
herpesvirus infection in humans, infected animals may
subsequently develop latent infections with subclinical
symptoms. These animals become carriers.
These viruses can be detected by cell culture, but this method
is expensive and time consuming. Since many macropods have had
past exposure to these viruses, serological detection is not
very useful to identify carriers. Molecular detection by
polymerase chain reaction offers rapid, highly specific and
sensitive detection of these viruses.
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Help ensure that animal groups and populations are free of
Early prevention of spread of these viruses among a
Minimize human exposure to these viruses
Wilcox, R.S., Vaz, P., Ficorilli, N.P., Whiteley, P.L.,
Wilks, C.R. and Devlin, J.M. (2011) Gammaherpesvirus infection
in a free-ranging eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus).
Aust. Vet. J. 89:55-57.
Specimen requirements: 0.2 ml whole blood
in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top) tube, or nasal swab, or
throat swab, or lesion swab, or 0.2 ml cell culture.
For specimen types other than those listed here, please call to
confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
For all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or
during very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped
and ship with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping
requirements are specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped
so as to remain frozen in transit. See
shipping instructions for
Turnaround time: 2 business days
Methodology: Qualitative real time PCR
Normal range: Nondetected