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Virology. 1996 Jan 15;215(2):186-9.

Evolution of canine parvovirus involved loss and gain of feline host range.

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Institute for Medical Microbiology, Ludwig Maximillians University, Munich, Germany.


Canine parvovirus (CPV) type-2 emerged as a new virus infecting dogs in 1978, and it was probably derived as a variant of feline panleukopenia virus or of a closely related virus infecting another carnivore. CPV type-2 was subsequently replaced in nature by antigenically variant viruses (CPV type-2a and CPV type-2b) which now coexist in dog populations worldwide. We show that CPV type-2 isolates did not replicate in cats, but that both CPV type-2a and CPV type-2b isolates replicated efficiently. About 10% of the viruses isolated from cats with natural parvovirus disease were antigenically indistinguishable from CPV type-2a or type-2b. The capsid protein gene sequence of a 1990 feline parvovirus isolate ("FPV-24") was essentially identical to the sequence of CPV type-2b viruses from dogs. The loss and reacquisition of the feline host range in CPV was most likely due in each case to small numbers of changes in a region of the virus capsid where three protein monomers interact.

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