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Virology. 2009 Feb 5;384(1):97-105. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2008.11.004. Epub 2008 Dec 2.

Identification and partial characterisation of a new Lagovirus in Australian wild rabbits.

Author information

1
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. tanja.strive@csiro.au

Abstract

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) is widely used in Australia to control feral rabbit populations. Before RHDV was released on the Australian continent in 1996, antibodies cross-reacting in RHDV specific ELISAs were found in Australian wild rabbits, leading to the hypothesis that a non-pathogenic calicivirus had been circulating in rabbit populations in Australia, potentially providing some level of cross-immunoprotection to RHDV infection. For the detection of this putative virus, a universal lagovirus PCR test was developed to screen a variety of different tissues of wild caught rabbits. We identified a new lagovirus in the intestinal tissues of three apparently healthy young wild rabbits. Quantitative Real Time PCR analysis revealed high concentrations of viral RNA in intestinal tissues and suggests a faecal-oral mode of transmission. Genome organisation and phylogenetic analysis following the sequencing of the entire viral genome revealed a new member of the genus Lagovirus within the family Caliciviridae.

PMID:
19049842
DOI:
10.1016/j.virol.2008.11.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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