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Geographical Distribution and Genetic Diversity of Bank Vole Hepaciviruses in Europe
 
 
Article

Evolutionary Relationships of Ljungan Virus Variants Circulating in Multi-Host Systems across Europe

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Department of Biodiversity and Molecular Ecology, Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach, 38098 San Michele all’Adige, TN, Italy
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Department of Virology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, FI-00029 Helsinki, Finland
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Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 901 83 Umeå, Sweden
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Department of Environmental Microbiology Working Group Microbial Interaction Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research–UFZ, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
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Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS), Institute of Zoology, 845 06 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Unit for Nature Conservation, County Administrative Board of Halland County, 301 86 Halmstad, Sweden
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Institute of Novel and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, 17493 Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany
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HUS Diagnostic Center, HUSLAB, Clinical Microbiology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, FI-00029 Helsinki, Finland
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Wildlife Ecology, Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Heidi Drummer
Viruses 2021, 13(7), 1317; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071317
Received: 25 May 2021 / Revised: 1 July 2021 / Accepted: 2 July 2021 / Published: 7 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rodent-Borne Viruses)
The picornavirus named ‘Ljungan virus’ (LV, species Parechovirus B) has been detected in a dozen small mammal species from across Europe, but detailed information on its genetic diversity and host specificity is lacking. Here, we analyze the evolutionary relationships of LV variants circulating in free-living mammal populations by comparing the phylogenetics of the VP1 region (encoding the capsid protein and associated with LV serotype) and the 3Dpol region (encoding the RNA polymerase) from 24 LV RNA-positive animals and a fragment of the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) sequence (used for defining strains) in sympatric small mammals. We define three new VP1 genotypes: two in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) (genotype 8 from Finland, Sweden, France, and Italy, and genotype 9 from France and Italy) and one in field voles (Microtus arvalis) (genotype 7 from Finland). There are several other indications that LV variants are host-specific, at least in parts of their range. Our results suggest that LV evolution is rapid, ongoing and affected by genetic drift, purifying selection, spillover and host evolutionary history. Although recent studies suggest that LV does not have zoonotic potential, its widespread geographical and host distribution in natural populations of well-characterized small mammals could make it useful as a model for studying RNA virus evolution and transmission. View Full-Text
Keywords: Picornaviridae; Parechovirus B; Ljungan virus isolates; small mammals; rodent-borne virus; zoonosis; bank vole Picornaviridae; Parechovirus B; Ljungan virus isolates; small mammals; rodent-borne virus; zoonosis; bank vole
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rossi, C.; Zadra, N.; Fevola, C.; Ecke, F.; Hörnfeldt, B.; Kallies, R.; Kazimirova, M.; Magnusson, M.; Olsson, G.E.; Ulrich, R.G.; Jääskeläinen, A.J.; Henttonen, H.; Hauffe, H.C. Evolutionary Relationships of Ljungan Virus Variants Circulating in Multi-Host Systems across Europe. Viruses 2021, 13, 1317. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071317

AMA Style

Rossi C, Zadra N, Fevola C, Ecke F, Hörnfeldt B, Kallies R, Kazimirova M, Magnusson M, Olsson GE, Ulrich RG, Jääskeläinen AJ, Henttonen H, Hauffe HC. Evolutionary Relationships of Ljungan Virus Variants Circulating in Multi-Host Systems across Europe. Viruses. 2021; 13(7):1317. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071317

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rossi, Chiara, Nicola Zadra, Cristina Fevola, Frauke Ecke, Birger Hörnfeldt, René Kallies, Maria Kazimirova, Magnus Magnusson, Gert E. Olsson, Rainer G. Ulrich, Anne J. Jääskeläinen, Heikki Henttonen, and Heidi C. Hauffe. 2021. "Evolutionary Relationships of Ljungan Virus Variants Circulating in Multi-Host Systems across Europe" Viruses 13, no. 7: 1317. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071317

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