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Lagovirus europaeus GI.2/RHDV2 (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus 2)

expanding the paradigm of a pathogenic lagovirus

Neimanis, Aleksija (2018). Lagovirus europaeus GI.2/RHDV2 (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus 2). Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2018:45
ISBN 978-91-7760-230-9
eISBN 978-91-7760-231-6
[Doctoral thesis]

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Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) was first detected in 1984 and quickly spread among wild and domestic European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) throughout the world. RHD and European brown hare syndrome (EBHS), a related disease of hares (Lepus spp.), are caused by pathogenic lagoviruses of the Family Caliciviridae. Infection of susceptible animals results in a necrotizing, often fatal, hepatitis. The causative viruses known as Lagovirus europaeus GI.1/RHDV and L. europaeus GII.1/EBHSV are considered genus specific, causing disease in Oryctolagus cuniculus and some Lepus spp., respectively. Full susceptibility to clinical disease only occurs after approximately eight weeks of age.
This understanding of pathogenic lagoviruses changed in 2010 with the emergence of a new virus, L. europaeus GI.2/RHDV2. While this new lagovirus shares features with the previously described, classic lagoviruses, it can cross species barriers and caused mortality in two southern European hare species, Lepus capensis mediterraneus and Lepus corsicanus. It also infects and kills young rabbits.
Studies here explored and helped define this new, expanded paradigm of pathogenic lagoviruses. Susceptibility to GI.2/RHDV2 was described in two new host species, the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) and the mountain hare (Lepus timidus). Mortality events in hares in Sweden, Italy and Spain provided insight into disease ecology. Infections likely spilled over from GI.2/RHDV2 outbreaks in rabbits, and the mountain hare outbreak lasted several months in the absence of rabbits. Disease caused by GI.2/RHDV2 was compared to classic RHD and EBHS in young and adult rabbits, and adult hares, respectively. In adults, pathology and virus tissue distribution were the same irrespective of the causative virus. In contrast to GI.1/RHDV, GI.2/RHDV2 caused similar disease in 5-week old kittens and adults. This thesis helped map GI.2/RHDV2 emergence by investigating its presence in Sweden. The first confirmed case was in May 2013, but initial cases were diagnosed as classic RHD. Widespread outbreaks did not occur until 2016 and phylogenetic analysis supported virus evolution and/or multiple introductions. Findings in this thesis helped prevent disease in domestic rabbits in Sweden and further our understanding of GI.2/RHDV2. GI.2/RHDV2 provides an excellent opportunity to study how viruses overcome species and age barriers.

Authors/Creators:Neimanis, Aleksija
Title:Lagovirus europaeus GI.2/RHDV2 (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus 2)
Subtitle:expanding the paradigm of a pathogenic lagovirus
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2018
Depositing date:21 August 2018
Number of Pages:73
INeimanis, AS*, Ahola, H, Zohari, S, Larsson Pettersson, U, Bröjer, C, Capucci, L, Gavier-Widen, D. (2018). Arrival of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2 to northern Europe: Emergence and outbreaks in wild and domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in Sweden. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 65, pp. 213-220.
IIVelarde, R, Cavadini, P, Neimanis, A, Cabez6n, 0, Chiari, M, Gaffuri, A, Lavin, S, Grilli, G, Gavier-Widen, D, Lavazza, A*, Capucci, L. (2017) Spillover events of infection of brown hares (Lepus europaeus) with rabbit haemorrhagic disease type 2 virus (RHDV2) caused sporadic cases of an European brown hare syndrome-like disease in ltaly and Spain. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 64 (6), pp. 1750-1761.
IIINeimanis, A*, Larsson Pettersson, U, Huang, N, Gavier-Widen, D, Strive, T. (2018) Elucidation of the pathology and tissue distribution of lagovirus europaeus GI.2/RHDV2 (rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2) in young and adult rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Veterinary Research, 49:46, pp. 1-15.
IVNeimanis, AS*, Ahola, H, Larsson Pettersson, U, Lopes, AM, Abrantes, J, Zohari, S, Esteves, P, Gavier-Widen, G. Overcoming species barriers: An outbreak of lagovirus europaeus Gl.2/RHDV2 in an isolated population of mountain hares (lepus timidus). (submitted manuscript)
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:SVA - National Veterinary Institute > A contributor is enlisted in SVA
ISBN for printed version:978-91-7760-230-9
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-7760-231-6
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L73 Animal diseases
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 403 Veterinary Science > Pathobiology
Agrovoc terms:Caliciviridae, pathology, rabbits, Oryctolagus, hares, wildlife, viruses
Keywords:rabbit haemorrhagic disease, RHDV2, lagovirus, pathology, Oryctolagus cuniculus, Lepus, virus, wildlife, pathology, emerging, disease, RHD, rabbit hemorrhagic disease
Permanent URL:
ID Code:15594
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health
Deposited By: Aleksija Neimanis
Deposited On:27 Aug 2018 07:02
Metadata Last Modified:09 Sep 2020 14:17

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