Detection of a Novel Gammaherpesvirus in Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus)

P. Vaz,1 P. L. Whiteley,1 C. R. Wilks,1 P. J. Duignan,1,2 N. Ficorilli,1 J. R. Gilkerson,1 G. F. Browning,1 and J. M. Devlin1,3

School of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia;
2Current address: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 2Z6, Canada;
3Corresponding author (email: )

A novel gammaherpesvirus was detected in wild koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) captured at different locations during 2010. Sequence analysis of the DNA polymerase gene revealed that the virus was genetically distinct from all known gammaherpesviruses. This is the first herpesvirus to be definitively identified in the Vombatiforme suborder (koalas and wombats).