A San Esteban Chuckwalla, Sauromalus varius, died without previous signs of systemic illness. On necropsy, intranuclear inclusion bodies were seen in the liver. Appearance of viral particles on electron microscopy was consistent with a herpesvirus. Degenerate PCR primers targeting a conserved region of herpesvirus DNA-dependent DNA polymerase gene were used to amplify products from paraffin embedded liver tissue. Nucleotide sequencing of the PCR product showed that the sequence from this lizard was unique. Phylogenetic and comparative sequence analysis suggested that this virus is a novel member of the subfamily alphaherpesvirinae, and is here termed iguanid herpesvirus 2.

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