Diseases / List of Viral Diseases / Disease description:

Rabbit Oral Papillomavirus Infection 

INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL INFORMATION

CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS & PATHOLOGY

INVESTIGATION & DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT & CONTROL

SUSCEPTIBILITY & TRANSMISSION

ENVIRONMENT & GEOGRAPHY

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General and References

Disease Summary

Lagomorphs
  • Rabbit oral papillomavirus infection causes a benign disease in its host species Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus - Domestic European rabbits. The disease is characterised by small discrete white growths that are found on the ventral surface of the tongue and rarely elsewhere in the mouth. Lesions are never found on the body. (B614.9.w9)
  • Young rabbits are most susceptible to this transmissible disease. (B600.9.w9)

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Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Oral papillomatosis

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Disease Type

Viral Infection

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Infectious/Non-Infectious Agent associated with the Disease

Pathogenesis
  • These oral papillomas may grow slowly over six to nine months. (B600.9.w9)
  • When the rabbit starts to become immune to this virus, the papilloma's base becomes inflamed which leads to the sloughing of the tumour, formation of an ulcer and then finally re-epithelialisation. (B600.9.w9)
  • Once recovered, rabbits are thought to be resistant to any further infections. (B603.3.w3, B614.9.w9) However, they are still susceptible to the unrelated Shope Papilloma Virus. (B614.9.w9)
  • The papillomas can persist for up to 145 days but they usually disappear in weeks. (B602.16.w16, B614.9.w9)

Infective "Taxa"

Non-infective agents

--

Physical agents

-- Indirect / Secondary

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References

Disease Author

Nikki Fox BVSc MRCVS (V.w103)
Click image for main Reference Section

Referees

Molly Varga BVetMed DZooMed MRCVS (V.w125)

Major References / Reviews

Code and Title List

B209.11.w11, B600.9.w9, B600.16.w16, B602.16.w16, B603.3.w3, B614.9.w9

Other References

Code and Title List

 

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Clinical Characteristics and Pathology

Detailed Clinical and Pathological Characteristics

General --

Clinical Characteristics

--

Lagomorphs
  • Small, white wart-like growths that are found on the ventral tongue but only rarely elsewhere on the oral mucosa. (B600.9.w9, B602.16.w16, B614.9.w9)
    • Early lesions are sessile and then later become pedunculated or rugose and ultimately, ulcerated. (B602.16.w16, B614.9.w9)
    • The lesions are rarely greater than five millimetres in size and four millimetres in thickness and are usually much smaller (typically one to three millimetres). (B602.16.w16, B614.9.w9)
  • Lesions due to rabbit oral papillomavirus are never found on the body. (B614.9.w9)
  • Rabbit oral papillomas are a benign disease and have not been known to undergo carcinomatous transformation. (B600.9.w9, B602.16.w16)

Incubation

--
Lagomorphs
  • The incubation period of the natural disease is not known but experimentally induced lesions are reported to appear nine to thirty eight days after inoculation. (B614.9.w9)

Mortality / Morbidity

  • Rabbit oral papillomatosis is a benign disease. (B614.9.w9)
Lagomorphs
  • A 17% prevalence of small papillomas were reported in the mouths of several breeds of rabbits in New York City when the disease was first reported in 1936. (B614.9.w9)
  • In one study of 51 New Zealand white rabbits that were from two local sources, 31% were found to have oral papillomas. (B602.16.w16)
  • The virus is reported to be frequently present in rabbits' mouths without lesions. (B614.9.w9)

Pathology

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Lagomorphs Microscopically, the lesions are typical papillomas. Cells containing basophilic intranuclear inclusions can be seen in the stratum spinosum. (B614.9.w9)

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Human Health Considerations

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Susceptibility / Transmission

General information on Susceptibility / Transmission

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Lagomorphs
Susceptibility
  • The disease is usually seen in rabbits that are between two and eighteen months of age. (B614.9.w9)
  • The virus has also been experimentally transmitted to cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus- (Genus)). (B614.9.w9)
Transmission
  • The virus is thought to be spread by direct contact. (B614.9.w9)
  • Transmission occurs via oral secretions that contain sloughed cells from the warts. (B600.16.w16)
  • Lesion development may need oral trauma for entry of the virus, e.g. maloccluded teeth, coarse feed, or other oral irritants. (B614.9.w9)
    • The virus is reported to be frequently present in rabbits' mouths without lesions and the licking of tar or tattooing stimulated lesion development in these carrier rabbits. (B614.9.w9)

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Disease has been reported in either the wild or in captivity in:

Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken). Host species with further information available are listed below:

Host Species List

(List does not contain all other species groups affected by this disease)

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Disease has been specifically reported in Free-ranging populations of:

  • --

Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken). Host species with further information available are listed below:

Host Species List

  • --

(List does not contain all other species groups affected by this disease)

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Environment/Geography

General Information on Environmental Factors/Events and Seasonality

  • --

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded

  • United States including:
    • New York - a spontaneous outbreak of rabbit oral papillomatosis in New York that involved several breeds of domestic rabbits was described in 1970.
    • Illinois - in 1985 there was a report of affected New Zealand White rabbits in Illinois.
  • Mexico including:
    • In 1981 there was a report of affected New Zealand White rabbits in Mexico. 

(B614.9.w9)

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded in Free-ranging populations

  • --

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General Investigation / Diagnosis

General Information on Investigation / Diagnosis

--
Lagomorphs Diagnosis can be based on:
  • Clinical signs - papillomas that occur only in the mouth of the rabbit in contrast to Shope Papilloma Virus Infection in which lesions are seen only on the skin.
  • Detection of papillomavirus antigens - the peroxidase-antiperoxidase technique can be used to detect papillomavirus antigens in the cells of the stratum spinosum. 

(B614.9.w9)

Related Techniques
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Similar Diseases (Differential Diagnosis)

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Treatment and Control

Specific Medical Treatment

--
Lagomorphs
  • Treatment is generally not required. (B603.3.w3)
Related Techniques

 

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General Nursing and Surgical Techniques

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Lagomorphs --
Related Techniques
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Preventative Measures

Vaccination --
Lagomorphs --
Prophylactic Treatment

--

Lagomorphs --
Related Techniques
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Environmental and Population Control Measures

General Environment Changes, Cleaning and Disinfection --

Lagomorphs

  • --
Population Control Measures --
Lagomorphs --
Isolation, Quarantine and Screening --
Lagomorphs --
Related Techniques
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