Shope papilloma virus

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Shope papilloma virus
Virus classification
Group: Group I (dsDNA)
Family: Papillomaviridae
Genus: Kappapapillomavirus
Species: Kappapapillomavirus 2

Cottontail rabbit papillomavirus, Cottontail rabbit papillomavirus (Shope), and Rabbit (Shope) papilloma virus

Rabbit with Shope papillomavirus infection.
Engraving from Tableau Encyclopedique et Methodique, 1789.

The cottontail rabbit papilloma virus (CRPV), or Shope papilloma virus (also known as Kappapapillomavirus 2, Cottontail rabbit papillomavirus, and Rabbit (Shope) papilloma virus), is a type I virus under the Baltimore scheme, possessing a nonsegmented dsDNA genome.[1] The virus was originally separated from horny warts on cottontail rabbits by Richard E. Shope in 1933.[2] It infects rabbits, causing keratinous carcinomas, typically on or near the animal’s head. These tumors can become large enough that they interfere with the host’s ability to eat, eventually causing starvation.

Shope papilloma virus provided the first mammalian model of a cancer caused by a virus. It takes its name from Shope, who discovered it in the 1930s.[2] Shope was able to isolate virus particles from tumors on captured animals and use these to inoculate domestic rabbits, which then developed similar tumors.[3] The virus was sequenced in 1984, showing substantial sequence similarities to HPV1a.[4] It has been used as a model for human papillomaviruses both before and after this discovery. The most visible example of this role is the HPV vaccine, which was developed based on and incorporating research done using the virus as a model. Similarly, it has been used to investigate antiviral therapies.[5]

The virus is also a possible source of myths about the jackalope, a rabbit with the horns of an antelope, and related cryptids such as the wolpertinger.[6][7] Stories and illustrations of horned rabbits appear in scientific treatises dating back many years, such as the Tableau encyclopédique et méthodique, from 1789.[8]

See also[edit]

Oncovirus (cancer virus)


  1. ^ "Cottontail rabbit papillomavirus" in UniProt
  2. ^ a b Shope RE, Hurst EW (1933). "Infectious papillomatosis of rabbits: with a not on the histopathology". J. Exp. Med. 58 (5): 607–624. doi:10.1084/jem.58.5.607. PMID 19870596. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Giri, Isabelle; Danos, Olivier; Yaniv, Moshe (1985), "Genomic Structure of the Cottontail Rabbit (Shope) Papillomavirus" (PDF), PNAS 82 (6): 1580–1584, doi:10.1073/pnas.82.6.1580 
  5. ^ Christensen ND, ND (2005), "Genomic Structure of the Cottontail Rabbit (Shope) Papillomavirus", Antivir Chem Chemother 16 (6): 355–62, PMID 16331841 
  6. ^ Eberhart, George M. "Mysterious Creatures: Creating A Cryptozoological Encyclopedia." 2005. Journal of Scientific Exploration. Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 103-113
  7. ^ Eberhart, George M. (2002), Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology 1, ABC-CLIO, pp. 237–238, ISBN 1-57607-283-5 
  8. ^ "Cottontail rabbit papillomavirus was the first mammalian papillomavirus to be discovered"