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Silmara Rossi, Roberta Ramblas Zamana, Pedro Paulo de Andrade-Santos, Aline da Costa Bomfim, Daniel Solon Dias de Farias, Augusto Carlos da Boaviagem Freire, Rysonely Maclay de Oliveira, Marco Aurélio Gattamorta, Eliana Reiko Matushima, Juliana Maia de Lorena Pires, Carlos Sacristán, Edson Soares da Silva-Júnior, Flávio José de Lima Silva, Simone Almeida Gavilan


Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a multifactorial, neoplastic and infectious disease that affects all sea turtle species, and Chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) has been singled out as the primary etiological agent. This disease is mainly characterized by cutaneous tumors, but visceral fibromas, myxofibromas and fibrosarcomas have been also reported and can interfere with systemic functions. In spite of previous descriptions of visceral neoplasms in sea turtles from Hawaii and Florida, some of them infected by ChHV5, there are few reports of non-cutaneous tumors in Brazilian sea turtles. In order to fill this gap, we analyzed samples of internal neoplasms from four green turtles (Chelonia mydas) by histopathological and molecular techniques. Cutaneous neoplasms were quantified and classified according to their size and tumor score to determine the FP severity, and the presence of internal tumors was confirmed post-mortem via necropsy. Forty-eight cutaneous tumors (7-23 per individual) were found on sampled green turtles, and the FP severity was mild (2 individuals) and moderate (2 individuals). Visceral neoplasms were found in lung (n=4), heart (n=1), intestine (n=2), esophagus (n=1), stomach (n=1), liver (n=1), spleen (n=1), skeletal muscle (n=1) and kidney (n=2) and were classified as fibromas (n=47) and one as renal myxofibroma. We did not detect ChHV5 DNA in the esophageal, skeletal muscle, or hepatic fibromas. Our research brings a novel description of renal myxofibroma and ChHV5 infection in visceral neoplasms from green turtles in Brazil, improving our knowledge about the prevalence, anatomic localization, and severity of internal neoplasms associated with FP.


fibropapillomatosis; herpesvirus; neoplastic disease; sea turtles

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