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Virol J. 2018 Aug 2;15(1):118. doi: 10.1186/s12985-018-1027-2.

Phylogenetic analysis of the wild-type strains of canine distemper virus circulating in the United States.

Author information

1
Tifton Veterinary Diagnostic and Investigational Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, PO Box 1389, 43 Brighton Rd, Tifton, GA, 31793, USA.
2
The Department of Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sadat, Sadat City, Egypt.
3
Veterinary Diagnostic Services Department, North Dakota State University, Dept. 7691, P.O. Box 6050, Fargo, North, Dakota, 58105, USA.
4
Tifton Veterinary Diagnostic and Investigational Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, PO Box 1389, 43 Brighton Rd, Tifton, GA, 31793, USA. beckpen@uga.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Canine distemper (CD) is a highly contagious, systemic, viral disease of dogs seen worldwide. Despite intensive vaccination in developed countries, recent reports suggest both the re-emergence and increased activity of Canine distemper virus (CDV) worldwide, including the United States. CDV is an RNA virus of the genus Morbillivirus within the family Paramyxoviridae. Viral genomic RNA encodes six structural proteins. Of the six structural proteins, the hemagglutinin (H) gene has the greatest genetic variation and is therefore a suitable target for molecular epidemiological studies. The majority of neutralizing epitopes are found on the H protein, making this gene also important for evaluation of changes over time that may result in antigenic differences among strains. The aim of this study was to determine the phylogenetic relationship of CDV strains circulating in the US.

METHODS:

Fifty-nine positive canine distemper virus samples collected from dogs from different regions and states from 2014 to 2017 were sequenced with a targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) method. The sequences of the H, F, and P genes and the matrix-fusion (M-F) intergenic region of the amplified CDVs were analyzed individually.

RESULTS:

Sequence analysis of the H gene revealed that there are at least 3 different lineages of CDV currently circulating in the US. These lineages include America-3 (Edomex), America-4, and a clade that was previously reported in association with an outbreak in Wyoming, which was linked to a domestic dog-breeding facility in Kansas in 2010. These lineages differ from the historically identified lineages in the US, including America-1, which contains the majority of the vaccine strains. Genetic differences may result in significant changes to the neutralizing epitopes that consequently may lead to vaccine failure. Phylogenetic analyses of the nucleotide sequences obtained in this study of the F and P genes and the M-F intergenic region with sequences from the GenBank database produced similar findings to the H gene analysis.

CONCLUSIONS:

The CDV lineages currently circulating in the US differ from the historically identified lineages America-1. Continuous surveillance is required for monitoring circulating CDV strains in the US, to prevent potential vaccine breakthrough events.

KEYWORDS:

Canine distemper virus; Lineages; Phylogenetics; Targeted next generation sequencing

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