Oesophageal papillomas are known to occur in cattle infected with bovine papillomavirus type 4 (BPV-4), and BPV-4 papillomas may undergo malignant progression in cattle that feed on bracken fern. In the south of Italy, where bracken fern is common, examination of 1133 slaughterhouse cattle aged 4-12 years revealed oesophageal lesions (single or multiple peduncuolated proliferations, or mucosal thickening) in 147 (13%). These two types of lesion were consistent with exophytic and inverted papilloma, respectively. BPV-4 was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis in >60% of the samples in which oesophageal papilloma was diagnosed histopathologically. Nucleotide sequencing of the PCR amplicons confirmed the presence of BPV-4 in the papillomas. This is the first report of such infections in a European country other than Britain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology