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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Oncogenic retroviruses and cancers

Retrovirally-induced cancers in animals : neglected diseases in the field

As most vertebrates, small ruminants are infected with retroviruses. 

SRLV (Small Ruminant Lentivirus), a continuum of virus infecting goats and sheep (Leroux et al., 2010), are responsible for degenerative and inflammatory diseases with udder, lung, joint or central nervous system. 

The oncogenic β-retrovirus induce cancers.

  • ENTV (Enzootic Nasal Tumor Virus) is responsible for  non-metastatic nasal tumors, associating facial lesions, cranial deformities, exophthalmos and nasal discharge leading to the the death of the animal in weeks.  
  • JSRV (Jaagsiekte Sheep Retrovirus) induces non-metastatic  pulmonary adenocarcinoma, predominantly lepidic. The symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, emaciation, and in most cases pulmonary secretions through the nostrils, containing a large amount of virus.

Lung and nasal mucosal cancers  occur sporadically in herds; but epizooties may develop leading to major losses. In addition to its impact and interest in animal health, viral-induced lung cancer in small ruminants is a unique model for studying rare forms of lung cancer in humans.

Our current projects focus on:

  • Genetic diversity of geographically distinct isolates of oncogenic β retroviruses from small ruminants
  • Circulation of viral strains causing serious enzooties 
  • Nature of genetic markers of hyperpathogenicity and biological properties of the hyperpathogenic strains
  • Putative retroviral signatures and specific deregulation markers in predominantly lepidic human lung adenocarcinomas

Financial support from Ligue contre le cancer,  Plan Cancer