We investigated healthy skin and mucosal specimens of wild ruminants in the Italian Alps. We identified bovine papillomavirus (BPV)-2 DNA in the healthy skin of wild ruminants and documented coinfection of BPV-1 and Cervus elaphus papillomavirus (CePV)-1 in a healthy red deer (Cervus elaphus). We also demonstrated cross-infections of BPVs of the genus Xipapillomavirus, both as single virus infection and also in association with Deltapapillomavirus types 1 and 2, confirming that host tropism of papillomaviruses is not as species-speciﬁc as previously thought. Our results suggest that subclinical infections could be linked to the presence of domestic ruminants sharing the same habitat with wild species and that the wildlife may act as a reservoir for papillomaviruses affecting domestic species.
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Vol. 52 • No. 1