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Viruses 2015, 7(1), 27-36; doi:10.3390/v7010027

Is the New Variant RHDV Replacing Genogroup 1 in Portuguese Wild Rabbit Populations?

1
CIBIO, InBIO—Research Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, Universidade do Porto, Campus de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
2
Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, s/n, 4169-007, Porto, Portugal
3
INSERM—Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale, U892, Université de Nantes, 44007 Nantes, France
4
CIISA—Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar em Sanidade Animal, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade de Lisboa, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal
5
VETNATURA, 1600-176 Lisboa, Portugal
6
Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana, 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, MT 59812, USA
7
CITS—Centro de Investigação em Tecnologias da Saúde, IPSN, CESPU, 4585-116 Gandra, Portugal
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eric O. Freed
Received: 6 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 December 2014 / Published: 30 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Abstract

The Lagovirus rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV), a member of the family Caliciviridae, severely affects European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) populations by causing rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD). RHDV is subdivided in six genogroups but, more recently, a new RHDV variant with a unique genetic and antigenic profile emerged. We performed a study in rabbits found dead in the field during 2013 and 2014 in Portugal to determine the prevalence of this new variant versus the classical RHDV. Fifty-seven liver samples were screened for the presence of RHDV and positive samples were genotyped. All cases of RHDV infection were caused by the new variant. The only former genogroup circulating in Portugal, G1, was not detected. We hence conclude that the new RHDV variant is replacing G1 in Portugal, probably due to a selective advantage. This sudden and rapid replacement emphasizes the necessity of continued monitoring of wild rabbit populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV); rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD); new variant RHDV; genogroup 1; replacement; Portugal rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV); rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD); new variant RHDV; genogroup 1; replacement; Portugal
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lopes, A.M.; Correia, J.; Abrantes, J.; Melo, P.; Ramada, M.; Magalhães, M.J.; Alves, P.C.; Esteves, P.J. Is the New Variant RHDV Replacing Genogroup 1 in Portuguese Wild Rabbit Populations? Viruses 2015, 7, 27-36.

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