Detection of koala retrovirus subgroup B (KoRV-B) in animals housed at European zoos
Uwe Fiebig1 • Martina Keller1 • Joachim Denner1
Robert Koch Institute, Nordufer 20, D-13353 Berlin, Germany
Many koalas carry an endogenous retrovirus, KoRV-A, in their genome. Recently, a second retrovirus, KoRV-B, was detected in koalas in Japanese and U.S. zoos. However, this virus is not endogenous, differs in the receptor binding site of the surface envelope protein, and uses a receptor different from that of KoRV-A. We describe here a KoRV-B found in koalas at zoos in Germany and Belgium that differs slightly from that found in the Los Angeles zoo.