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Detection and characterisation of multiple herpesviruses in free-living Western European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus)

Hydeskov, HB; Dastjerdi, A; Hopkins, KP; Ryser-Degiorgis, M-P; Widén, F; Cunningham, AA; Lawson, B; (2018) Detection and characterisation of multiple herpesviruses in free-living Western European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus). Scientific Reports , 8 , Article 13942. 10.1038/s41598-018-31900-w. Green open access

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Abstract

Sporadic cases of herpesvirus-associated disease have been reported in the Western European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), but there has been little surveillance for, nor any sequence characterisation of, herpesviruses in this species to date. A nested pan-herpesvirus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting a region of the DNA polymerase gene was used to test 129 Western European hedgehogs from across Great Britain, 2011–2016; 59 (46%) of which were PCR-positive. In addition, samples from two previously published cases of fatal herpesvirus infection in E. europaeus, from Sweden and Switzerland, were positive using this PCR. No statistically significant relationship was detected between PCR result and sex, age class, year or season for the British hedgehogs tested. In most PCR-positive animals (19/22) from which liver and brain were tested separately, both were PCR-positive. Sanger sequencing of amplicons from 59 British hedgehogs revealed at least two novel viruses within the Gammaherpesvirinae. Thirteen of these hedgehogs had liver and brain tissues screened for microscopic abnormalities, of which one had non-suppurative meningoencephalitis, but neither intranuclear inclusion bodies nor herpesvirus virions (on electron microscopical examination) were identified. Sequencing of the whole DNA polymerase gene confirmed two genetically different Human alphaherpesvirus 1 viruses in the Swedish and Swiss hedgehogs.

Type: Article
Title: Detection and characterisation of multiple herpesviruses in free-living Western European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-31900-w
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-31900-w
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10055419
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