Rabbit oral papillomavirus (ROPV) is a mucosatropic papillomavirus which naturally infects oral mucosal sites of domestic rabbits. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that rabbit genital mucosa is also susceptible to ROPV infection by using the athymic mouse xenograft system and adult immunocompetent rabbits. Subrenal xenografts of ROPV-infected rabbit vulvar and penile sheath tissues were strongly positive for ROPV infection by histologic, in situ hybridization, and Southern analyses. Direct inoculation of adult rabbit penises with infectious ROPV produced small raised lesions of approximately 1 by 1 by 1 mm that were ROPV positive by both in situ hybridization and Southern analyses and were also viral capsid antigen positive by immunohistological staining. Infection of rabbit genital tissues with ROPV may be a useful animal model for the study of genital tissue- targeting papillomaviruses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science