Expression of recipient cytomegalovirus in immunosuppressed and xenotransplanted Macaca fascicularis may be related to more severe gastrointestinal lesions.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is the most common opportunistic infection in immunosuppressed individuals, such as transplant recipients or people living with HIV/AIDS, and congenital CMV is the leading viral cause of developmental disabilities in infants. Due to the highly species-specific nature of CMV, animal models that closely recapitulate human CMV (HCMV) are of growing importance for vaccine development. Here we present the genomic sequence of a novel nonhuman primate CMV from cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis; CyCMV). CyCMV (Ottawa strain) was isolated from the urine of a healthy, captive-bred, 4-year-old cynomolgus macaque of Philippine origin, and the viral genome was sequenced using next-generation Illumina sequencing to an average of 516-fold coverage. The CyCMV genome is 218,041 bp in length, with 49.5% G+C content and 84% protein-coding density. We have identified 262 putative open reading frames (ORFs) with an average coding length of 789 bp. The genomic organization of CyCMV is largely colinear with that of rhesus macaque CMV (RhCMV). Of the 262 CyCMV ORFs, 137 are homologous to HCMV genes, 243 are homologous to RhCMV 68.1, and 200 are homologous to RhCMV 180.92. CyCMV encodes four ORFs that are not present in RhCMV strain 68.1 or 180.92 but have homologies with HCMV (UL30, UL74A, UL126, and UL146). Similar to HCMV, CyCMV does not produce the RhCMV-specific viral homologue of cyclooxygenase-2. This newly characterized CMV may provide a novel model in which to study CMV biology and HCMV vaccine development.