The complete genomic DNA of a novel papillomavirus (PV) was isolated from a basosquamous carcinoma on the wing of an Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus). Initial short sequences of the E1 and L1 genes of this virus were retrieved by PCR with degenerate papillomavirus-specific primers, and the entire R. aegyptiacus papillomavirus type 1 (RaPV-1) DNA was then amplified by long template PCR, cloned and sequenced with a transposon insertion method. The RaPV-1 genome counts 7970 basepairs and contains the typical papillomavirus open reading frames (ORF) (E1, E2, E4, E6, E7, L1 and L2). Based on a concatenated alignment of the E1, E2, L1 and L2 open reading frames of RaPV-1 and 46 other human and animal papillomavirus type species, a neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree was constructed. This phylogenetic analysis shows that RaPV-1 has a close-to-root position in the papillomavirus evolutionary tree. Since RaPV-1 is only distantly related to other papillomaviruses (with maximally 50% nucleotide sequence identity across the L1 open reading frame), it cannot be assigned to one of the existing papillomavirus genera and therefore represents the first member of a novel, as yet unnamed, close-to-root papillomavirus genus. This is the first time a papillomavirus has been isolated and characterized from a member of the Chiroptera order.