We wish to present some evidence for the implication of an as yet uncharacterized member of the pox group of viruses in producing epidermal papillomata in a marsupial, . Generally neoplasms in marsupials have not been investigated in any great detail (Barker, Calaby & Sharman, 1963), and it is interesting that in the population of studied, animals with papillomata associated with poxvirus were frequently found. Apart from the lesions of molluscum contagiosum in humans, no other member of the poxvirus group is known to induce the formation of epidermal papillomata, although they may induce a few mesodermal neoplasms (Gross, 1970).

This particular population of (or ‘quokka’) has been confined for some seven thousand years to Rottnest, a little island off the coast of Western Australia, and indeed, the species is found only in one or two other areas of this state (Main, 1963).


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