Investigations of equine sarcoids and bovine papillomavirus in Western Canada
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Equine sarcoids are the most common skin tumors of horses. Despite being such a common entity, relatively little is known about many features of sarcoid epidemiology or growth. In addition, due to the detection of Bovine Papillomavirus (BPV) DNA of 2 different types, BPV type 1 (BPV1) and BPV type 2 (BPV2), in equine sarcoids BPV has been suggested as the causative agent of sarcoid development. Recently, however, BPV DNA has also been detected in other skin conditions of horses; the significance of this is unclear. Multiple studies to learn more about sarcoids were undertaken. To investigate the epidemiology of sarcoids in horses in Western Canada the records of five veterinary diagnostic laboratories were searched to identify submissions of sarcoids from horses. The submission record and diagnostic reports of 802 separate submissions of equine sarcoids were reviewed for age, breed, and gender of the horse and the number, location and clinical type of sarcoid. Based on these submissions, horses of a wide variety of ages and 23 different equine breeds were affected, within these breeds, Donkeys were overrepresented. The presence of BPV was determined by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). BPV was found in 74 of 96 (77.1%) samples, and using Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism, BPV1 and BPV2 were identified in these samples. BPV2 was present in 59 (79.7%) of these. Unlike other areas in the world, in Western Canada, equine sarcoids are most commonly associated with BPV2. A second study examined different clinical types of sarcoids to determine if there was differential expression of immunohistochemical markers associated with apoptosis, Cleaved Caspase 3(ClC3), and antiapoptotic factors, B-Cell Lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and Survivin. No differences in the expression of any of these markers regardless of BPV type were noted. Survivin was expressed in equine sarcoids of all types and increased levels of expression are associated with more aggressive clinical behaviour. Finally, the location of BPV DNA was determined in both sarcoids and a variety of non-sarcoid inflammatory skin conditions of horses, as well as, normal skin. PCR for BPV DNA was performed on 86 skin biopsies from horses with non-sarcoid skin conditions, as well as, normal skin. BPV DNA was present in 41 of 86 biopsies. These positive samples, in addition to BPV positive sarcoid samples from the earlier study, were dissected into tissue compartments using laser microdissection followed by 2 forms of BPV DNA amplification, PCR and isothermal loop mediated amplification. BPV DNA was more often located in the epidermis of non-sarcoid skin conditions than in sarcoids. In addition, areas of inflammation within the dermis and epidermis were more likely to contain BPV DNA than non-inflamed areas. These results suggest that while BPV is commonly found in equine skin, the location where it is found differs between sarcoids and non-sarcoid samples. When BPV DNA was found in non-sarcoid samples, it was commonly associated with inflammation suggesting that microscopic damage to the epidermal barrier of the skin maybe an adequate predisposing factor to the development of sarcoids.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeHill, Janet; Kidney, Beverly; Townsend, Hugh; Jackson, Marion; Mayer, Monique; Munday, John
Copyright DateNovember 2010