Bovine papillomavirus (BPV) is a globally distributed cosmopolitan virus that causes bovine papillomatosis (BP). BPVs cause mostly benign tumors of the skin and mucous membranes of the digestive and urogenital tracts. The benign papillomas usually regress on their own, but in the presence of co-factors, they can progress to malignancy. Although PVs are known to be species-specific, some BPVs have been shown to infect multiple species. There have been numerous reports of BPV infection in domestic animals such as cattle, birds, and wild animals such as tapir, giraffe, antelope, and zebras, and BPVs appear to cause mesenchymal neoplasia in horses and cats. BPV-associated tumors have veterinary and agricultural implications in and of themselves, but they have also been studied as a good model for human papillomavirus (HPV).
BPV is a non-enveloped, double-stranded DNA virus that belongs to the Papillomaviridae family and has an icosahedral symmetry with an 8 kb circular genome. The entire BPV genome is divided into three sections: the early region (E), the late region (L), and the noncoding region (NCR). The E region encodes nonstructural proteins E1 to E7, which are required for virus replication to begin. The major (L1) and minor (L2) capsid proteins are encoded by the late region. The LCR, also known as the noncoding region, does not encode any proteins but serves as the origin of replication (ori).
Fig.2 Schematic of BPV particle. (Lunardi, et al., 2013)
BPV is made up of 29 different types that are divided into five genera (Delta-, Dyoxi-, Dyokappa-, Epsilon-, and Xipapillomavirus). Each has the potential to cause type-specific lesions. For example, BPV2 is strongly linked to urinary bladder neoplasia, whereas BPV4 is linked to upper alimentary tract tumors in cattle.
Other new BPV 19 and BPV 21 belong to an undefined genus.
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