• Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

    InBIO Associate Laboratory

    Research Center in  Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
  • Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

    InBIO Associate Laboratory

    Research Center in  Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
  • Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

    InBIO Associate Laboratory

    Research Center in  Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
  • Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources

    InBIO Associate Laboratory

    Research Center in  Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
 

 

 

 
 
MYXOMA VIRUS LEAP FROM RABBIT TO HARE: UNRAVELLING THE MECHANISMS BEHIND VIRUS HOST SPECIES JUMP
Ana Águeda Ferreira Pinto, CIBIO-InBIO, UP | December 13, 2019 – 14h45 | Sala B – CIBIO-InBIO, Campus de Vairão
2019-12-07
 

STUDENT SEMINAR IN BIODIVERSITY AND EVOLUTION

 

 

Myxomatosis is a lethal disease in wild European and domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), which is caused by a Myxoma virus (MYXV) infection—a leporipoxvirus that is found naturally in some Sylvilagus rabbit species in South America and California. The introduction of MYXV into feral European rabbit populations of Australia and Europe, in the early 1950s, demonstrated the best-documented field example of host–virus coevolution, following a cross-species transmission. Recently, a new cross-species jump of MYXV has been suggested in both Great Britain and Spain, where European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) and Iberian hares (Lepus granatensis) were found dead with lesions consistent with those observed in myxomatosis. To investigate the possibility of a new cross-species transmission event by MYXV, tissue samples collected from a wild Iberian hare found dead in Spain (Toledo region) were analyzed and deep sequenced. Our results reported a new MYXV isolate (MYXV Toledo) in the tissues of this species. The genome of this new virus was found to encode three disruptive genes (M009L, M036L, and M152R) and a novel ~2.8 kb recombinant region, which resulted from an insertion of four novel poxviral genes towards the 3’ end of the negative strand of its genome. From the open reading frames inserted into the MYXV Toledo virus, a new orthologue of a poxvirus host range gene family member was identified, which was related to the MYXV gene M064R. Overall, we confirmed the identity of a new MYXV isolate in Iberian hares, which, we hypothesized, was able to more effectively counteract the host defenses in hares and start an infectious process in this new host.

 

Ana Pinto is a 3rd-year BIODIV PhD student, working under the supervision of Pedro Esteves (CIBIO-InBIO, UP). She graduated in Biology in the University of Porto, Portugal and holds a MSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Porto. Currently she is interested in investigate the biological underpinnings driving Myxoma virus adaptation and disease manifestation in hares following a species jump from rabbits.

 

[Host: Pedro José Esteves, Immunity and Emerging Diseases]


Image credits: asunow.asu.edu