Gammaherpesviruses (GHVs) have been identified in many species and are often associated with disease. Recently, we characterized three novel felid GHVs in domestic cats (Felis catus), bobcats (Lynx rufus), and pumas (Puma concolor). We investigated whether free-ranging ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) and bobcats are infected with additional GHVs. We screened DNA samples from ocelots on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, and bobcats in western Colorado, US, by using a degenerate nested PCR that targets the GHV glycoprotein B gene. We identified a novel GHV glycoprotein B sequence in two ocelots and a second novel sequence in a bobcat, which is distinct from the previously characterized bobcat GHV (Lynx rufus GHV 1). Utilizing additional degenerate and virus-specific PCRs, we extended these sequences to include 3.4 kilobases of the GHV glycoprotein B and DNA polymerase genes. These sequences identify the first GHV detected in ocelots and the second GHV in bobcats. These viruses were provisionally named L. pardalis GHV 1 and Lynx rufus GHV 2, respectively. The viruses are most closely related to recently identified GHVs of the Percavirus genus found in domestic cats (F. catus GHV 1) and bobcats (L. rufus GHV 1), suggesting that a cluster of felid GHVs exists within the Percavirus genus.
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Vol. 51 • No. 4