Cameron Knight

Doctor of Philosophy, (Veterinary Science)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The Association Between Equine Papillomavirus Type 2 and Equine Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

In humans, nearly all cervical cancers, half of penile cancers, and one quarter of throat cancers are caused by human papillomavirus infection. Mr Knight investigated whether papillomaviruses similarly cause a proportion of cancers in horses. He screened cancerous and non-cancerous equine tissues for papillomavirus infection using conventional and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Papillomaviral DNA was amplified significantly more frequently from cancerous than non-cancerous tissues, and at higher viral loads. Just one papillomavirus type was present, and this novel virus was termed Equus caballus papillomavirus type 2 (EcPV-2). Using immunohistochemistry Mr Knight then investigated whether EcPV-2 could cause cancer through dysregulation of the same cellular pathways as cancer-causing human papillomaviruses. His results showed that EcPV-2 influences the development of genital cancers in horses but through different cellular pathways. The information gained from his research will be useful in the development of a vaccine against some forms of equine genital cancer.

Professor John Munday
Associate Professor Magda Dunowska