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Spillover events of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2 (recombinant GI.4P-GI.2) from Lagomorpha to Eurasian badger

Abade Dos Santos, FA; Pinto, A; Burgoyne, T; Dalton, KP; Carvalho, CL; Ramilo, DW; Carneiro, C; ... Duarte, MD; + view all (2022) Spillover events of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2 (recombinant GI.4P-GI.2) from Lagomorpha to Eurasian badger. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases , 69 (3) pp. 1030-1045. 10.1111/tbed.14059. Green open access

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Abstract

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) is a major threat to domestic and wild European rabbits. Presently, in Europe, the disease is caused mainly by Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2/b or Lagovirus europaeus GI.2), the origin of which is still unclear, as no RHDV2 reservoir hosts were identified. After the RHDV2 emergence in 2010, viral RNA was detected in a few rodent species. Furthermore, RHDV2 was found to cause disease in some hare species resembling the disease in rabbits, evidencing the ability of the virus to cross the species barrier. In this study, through molecular, histopathologic, antigenic and morphological evidences, we demonstrate the presence and replication of RHDV2 in Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) found dead in the district of Santarém, Portugal, between March 2017 and January 2020. In two of these seven animals, we further classify the RHDV2 as a Lagovirus europaeus recombinant GI.4P‐GI.2. Our results indicate that Meles meles is susceptible to RHDV2, developing systemic infection, and excreting the virus in the faeces. Given the high viral loads seen in several organs and matrices, we believe that transmission to the wild rabbit is likely. Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy data shows the presence of Calicivirus compatible virions in the nucleus of hepatocytes, which has not been demonstrated before and constitutes a paradigm shift for caliciviruses’s replication cycle.

Type: Article
Title: Spillover events of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2 (recombinant GI.4P-GI.2) from Lagomorpha to Eurasian badger
Location: Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/tbed.14059
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/tbed.14059
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Meles meles, Eurasian badger, GI.2, RHDV2/b, recombinant GI.4P-GI.2, spillover event
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 Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123936
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