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Virus Res. 2012 Feb;163(2):656-9. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2011.11.011. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

Geographic structuring of global EIAV isolates: a single origin for New World strains?

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  • 1Centro di Studio del Cavallo Sportivo, University of Perugia, Via San Costanzo 4, 06126 Perugia, Italy.


Equine infectious anaemia virus (EIAV) is classified within the Retroviridae and, like other lentivirus, has the propensity for considerable antigenic variation. An extensive phylogenetic analysis in Bayesian fashion, with significant amounts of new EIAV gag sequence information, revealed a strong geographic compartmentalization clearly related to the phylogeographic history of modern horses, pointing out that New World EIAV strains form a distinct group with a potentially common origin. This evidence suggests that a single founder event may have occurred during the reintroduction of horses to the Americas by European colonists in the 15th century, a possibility that raises many interesting scenarios with implications for all evolutionary and ecological studies.

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