Bovine papillomavirus type 4 (BPV-4), the causative agent of alimentary papillomatosis, has been used to infect, in vitro, fragments of palatine mucosa from late term bovine fetuses. These small explants were placed beneath the renal capsule of athymic nude mice where they grew to produce, at first, squamous epithelial cysts containing BPV-4 genomic DNA and, later, papillomas which were morphologically identical to those of cattle and which contained large amounts of replicating virus. The possible utility of this technique in assessing neutralising antibodies in vaccine development is discussed.
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