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  • 1 Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden H-1146 Budapest Állatkerti krt. 6-12 Hungary
  • 2 Hungarian Academy of Sciences Veterinary Medical Research Institute Budapest Hungary
  • 3 Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate Central Agricultural Office Budapest Hungary
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This paper describes the detection of a novel herpesvirus in a Serotine bat ( Eptesicus serotinus ) in Hungary. The rescued animal showed signs of icterus and anorexia and died within a day, in spite of immediate supportive therapy. Autopsy confirmed the clinical picture by the major lesions observed in the liver. Histopathology revealed vacuolar degeneration in the hepatocytes and leukocytosis in the sinusoidal lumina. By electron microscopy, hydropic degeneration and apoptotic cells with a pycnotic nucleus were found in the liver. Bacteriological examinations gave negative results. As part of a routine screening project, detection of adeno-and herpesviruses from homogenised samples of the liver, lungs and small intestines was attempted by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. The adenovirus PCR ended with negative results. The herpesvirus PCR resulted in an amplification product of specific size. The nucleotide sequence of the amplicon was determined and analysed by homology search and phylogenetic analysis. A novel herpesvirus was identified, which seemed to be most closely related to members of the genus Rhadinovirus within the subfamily Gammaherpesvirinae . The causative role of the detected rhadinovirus in the fatal condition of the Serotine bat could not be proven, but it is most likely that reactivation from a latent infection allowed the detection of the virus by PCR.

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