Subfamily: Alphaherpesvirinae

Genus: Scutavirus

 

Distinguishing features

The predicted amino acid sequences of members form a distinct lineage within the subfamily (Figure 1. Alphaherpesvirinae). 

Virion

See discussion under family description

Genome organization and replication

Complete or almost complete genome sequences are available for fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV in the species Chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5 (Ackermann et al., 2012) and testudinid herpesvirus 3 (TeHV3 in the species Testudinid alphaherpesvirus 3 (Origgi et al., 2015, Gandar et al., 2015)). 

Biology

Members have turtles and tortoises as hosts. TeHV3 has been detected in several species of tortoise and is associated with stomatitis and glossitis, and grows in terrapene heart cells in culture (Origgi 2012). FPTHV is associated with a proliferative (neoplastic) skin disease mainly affecting green and loggerhead sea turtles (Ackermann et al., 2012). 

Antigenicity

TeHV3 cross-reacts serologically by ELISA with a number of unclassified testudinid herpesviruses (Jacobson et al., 2012) (F. Origgi, unpublished data). 

Species demarcation criteria

See discussion under family description