Identification and prevalence of a gammaherpesvirus in free-ranging northern brown bandicoots (Isoodon macrourus)

Langhorne, Charlotte and Sullivan, Jennifer and Hoy, Julia and Kopp, Steven and Murray, Peter ORCID: and McMichael, Lee (2021) Identification and prevalence of a gammaherpesvirus in free-ranging northern brown bandicoots (Isoodon macrourus). Journal of Wildlife Disease, 57 (4). pp. 912-916. ISSN 0090-3558


Herpesviruses have been reported in several Australian marsupial species, with an overt, sometimes fatal disease described in macropods. Gammaherpesviruses have been identified in both southern brown and northern brown bandicoots, however phylogenetic characterisation of the herpesvirus infecting northern brown bandicoots has, to date, not been published. This study phylogenetically characterises a gammaherpesvirus of northern brown bandicoots (Isoodon macrourus) and provides virus prevalence data for bandicoots in South East Queensland, Australia. The presence of herpesvirus DNA was detected using pan-Herpesviridae family primers in a nested PCR format. Samples including whole blood (n = 29), oropharyngeal swabs (n = 34), urine (n = 22) and faeces (n = 23) were analysed. Combining all sample types, herpesvirus DNA was detected at a total prevalence of 51% (18/35). Whole blood and oropharyngeal swabs proved to be the optimal samples for detection of this virus with prevalence of 34% and 38%, respectively. Herpesvirus DNA was detected in one of twenty-two (4.5%) urine samples. No herpesvirus DNA was detected in faecal samples (0/23). Herpesvirus DNA was more likely to be detected in males than females. Animals were trapped at eight different locations and at all but one location, at least one herpesvirus positive animal was detected. The results of this study indicate a high prevalence of the virus within northern brown bandicoot populations in South East Queensland. Further research is required to understand the clinical manifestations, if any, of herpesvirus infection in this species and how this may impact populations, in the face of stressors such as land clearing and habitat fragmentation.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Sciences (6 Sep 2019 - 31 Dec 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2021 01:43
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2022 21:26
Uncontrolled Keywords: bandicoot, herpesvirus, Isoodon, marsupial
Fields of Research (2008): 06 Biological Sciences > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3009 Veterinary sciences > 300905 Veterinary epidemiology
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280101 Expanding knowledge in the agricultural, food and veterinary sciences
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