Detection of koala retrovirus subgroup B (KoRV-B) in animals housed at European zoos
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Many koalas carry an endogenous retrovirus, KoRV-A, in their genome. Recently, a second retrovirus, KoRV-B, was detected in koalas in Japanese and U.S. zoos. However, this virus is not endogenous, differs in the receptor binding site of the surface envelope protein, and uses a receptor different from that of KoRV-A. We describe here a KoRV-B found in koalas at zoos in Germany and Belgium that differs slightly from that found in the Los Angeles zoo.
KeywordsRetroviruses Endogenous retroviruses Koala PCR
We thank Francis Vercammen, Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, and Manuel Garcia Hartmann, Zoo Duisburg, for material from koalas. We thank Dr. S. Norley, Robert Koch Institute, for critical reading of the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This study does not involve animal experiments performed by the authors: only blood and tissue samples from animals housed at the zoos in Antwerp and Duisburg were used, for which all applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. No studies with human participants were performed.
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