Abstract

The genome of koala retrovirus (KoRV) has striking similarity to the gibbon ape leukemia virus (GALV) genome, suggesting the two viruses may share a common ancestor. Screening of DNA from a range of potential hosts of this putative ancestor virus revealed retroviral sequence from a grassland melomys (Melomys burtoni) that was closely related to sequence of both KoRV and GALV. This novel virus has been named Melomys burtoni retrovirus (MbRV). As grassland melomys and koalas share habitat, it is possible that there has been cross-species transmission of virus in the past. Although a causative relationship between KoRV infection and disease in koalas is yet to be confirmed, koala populations with a high prevalence of KoRV infection have a higher incidence of diseases characteristic of retroviruses (cancer and immunosuppression) than populations with low KoRV-prevalence. Not all KoRV-infected koalas develop clinical disease. This variation in disease expression may result from differences in proviral (DNA) insertion sites among koalas, genetic variability of KoRV in different individuals or from variation in host genetics.

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
Simmons et al., 2014. Tech. Rep. Aust. Mus., Online 24: 31–33
Author
Greg Simmons; Joanne Meers; Daniel T. W. Clarke; Paul R. Young; Kiersten Jones; Jon J. Hanger; Jo Loader; Jeff J. McKee
Year
2014
Title
The origins and ecological impact of koala retrovirus
Serial Title
Technical Reports of the Australian Museum, Online
Volume
24
Start Page
31
End Page
33
DOI
10.3853/j.1835-4211.24.2014.1610
Language
English
Date Published
30 May 2014
Cover Date
30 May 2014
ISSN
1835-4211 (online)
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Subjects
RETROVIRUS; ANIMAL DISEASE; VIROLOGY; MAMMALIA: MARSUPIALIA
Digitized
30 May 2014
Available Online
30 May 2014
Reference Number
1610
EndNote
/Uploads/Journals/30982/1610.enw
Title Page
/Uploads/Journals/30982/1610.pdf
File size: 160kB
Complete Work
/Uploads/Journals/30982/1610_complete.pdf
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