Papillomaviruses (PVs) are small, non-enveloped viruses, ubiquitous across the animal kingdom. PVs induce diverse forms of infection, such as cutaneous papillomas, genital papillomatosis, and carcinomas. During a survey on the fertility status of a mare, a novel Equus caballus PV (EcPV) has been identified using Next Generation Sequencing, and it was further confirmed with genome-walking PCR and Sanger sequencing. The complete circular genome 7607 bp long shares 67% average percentage of identity with EcPV9, EcPV2, EcPV1, and EcPV6, justifying a new classification as Equus caballus PV 10 (EcPV10). All EcPV genes are conserved in EcPV10, and phylogenetic analysis indicates that EcPV10 is closely related to EcPV9 and EcPV2, genus Dyoiota 1. A preliminary EcPV10 genoprevalence study, carried out on 216 horses using Real Time PCRs, suggested a low incidence of this isolate (3.7%) compared to EcPVs of the same genus such as EcPV2 and EcPV9 in the same horse population. We hypothesize a transmission mechanism different from the one observed in the closely related EcPV9 and EcPV2 that particularly infect Thoroughbreds. This horse breed is usually submitted to natural mating, thus indicating a possible sexual diffusion. No differences were detected for breeds in terms of susceptibility to EcPV10. Further studies are needed to investigate the molecular mechanisms behind the host and EcPV10 infection to explain the reduced viral spread.
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