Comparative quantitative monitoring of rabbit haemorrhagic disease viruses in rabbit kittens

Markus Matthaei, Peter Kerr, Andrew READ, Paul Hick, Stephanie Haboury, John Wright, Tanja STRIVE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Only one strain (the Czech CAPM-v351) of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) has been released in Australia and New Zealand to control pest populations of the European rabbit O. cuniculus. Antigenic variants of RHDV known as RHDVa strains are reportedly replacing RHDV strains in other parts of the world, and Australia is currently investigating the usefulness of RHDVa to complement rabbit biocontrol efforts in Australia and New Zealand. RHDV efficiently kills adult rabbits but not rabbit kittens, which are more resistant to RHD the younger they are and which may carry the virus without signs of disease for prolonged periods. These different infection patterns in young rabbits may significantly influence RHDV epidemiology in the field and hence attempts to control rabbit numbers. Methods. We quantified RHDV replication and shedding in 4-5 week old rabbits using quantitative real time PCR to assess their potential to shape RHDV epidemiology by shedding and transmitting virus. We further compared RHDV-v351 with an antigenic variant strain of RHDVa in kittens that is currently being considered as a potential RHDV strain for future release to improve rabbit biocontrol in Australia. Results: Kittens were susceptible to infection with virus doses as low as 10 ID50. Virus growth, shedding and transmission after RHDVa infection was found to be comparable or non-significantly lower compared to RHDV. Virus replication and shedding was observed in all kittens infected, but was low in comparison to adult rabbits. Both viruses were shed and transmitted to bystander rabbits. While blood titres indicated that 4-5 week old kittens mostly clear the infection even in the absence of maternal antibodies, virus titres in liver, spleen and mesenteric lymph node were still high on day 5 post infection. Conclusions: Rabbit kittens are susceptible to infection with very low doses of RHDV, and can transmit virus before they seroconvert. They may therefore play an important role in RHDV field epidemiology, in particular for virus transmission within social groups during virus outbreaks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalVirology Journal
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus
Rabbits
Virus Shedding
Viruses
Infection
Epidemiology
Virus Replication
New Zealand
Pest Control
Virus Diseases
Viral Load

Cite this

Matthaei, M., Kerr, P., READ, A., Hick, P., Haboury, S., Wright, J., & STRIVE, T. (2014). Comparative quantitative monitoring of rabbit haemorrhagic disease viruses in rabbit kittens. Virology Journal, 11(1), 1-11. [109]. https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-422X-11-109
Matthaei, Markus ; Kerr, Peter ; READ, Andrew ; Hick, Paul ; Haboury, Stephanie ; Wright, John ; STRIVE, Tanja. / Comparative quantitative monitoring of rabbit haemorrhagic disease viruses in rabbit kittens. In: Virology Journal. 2014 ; Vol. 11, No. 1. pp. 1-11.
@article{8e27ef78d2df484e9c8b04d3c98742cc,
title = "Comparative quantitative monitoring of rabbit haemorrhagic disease viruses in rabbit kittens",
abstract = "Background: Only one strain (the Czech CAPM-v351) of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) has been released in Australia and New Zealand to control pest populations of the European rabbit O. cuniculus. Antigenic variants of RHDV known as RHDVa strains are reportedly replacing RHDV strains in other parts of the world, and Australia is currently investigating the usefulness of RHDVa to complement rabbit biocontrol efforts in Australia and New Zealand. RHDV efficiently kills adult rabbits but not rabbit kittens, which are more resistant to RHD the younger they are and which may carry the virus without signs of disease for prolonged periods. These different infection patterns in young rabbits may significantly influence RHDV epidemiology in the field and hence attempts to control rabbit numbers. Methods. We quantified RHDV replication and shedding in 4-5 week old rabbits using quantitative real time PCR to assess their potential to shape RHDV epidemiology by shedding and transmitting virus. We further compared RHDV-v351 with an antigenic variant strain of RHDVa in kittens that is currently being considered as a potential RHDV strain for future release to improve rabbit biocontrol in Australia. Results: Kittens were susceptible to infection with virus doses as low as 10 ID50. Virus growth, shedding and transmission after RHDVa infection was found to be comparable or non-significantly lower compared to RHDV. Virus replication and shedding was observed in all kittens infected, but was low in comparison to adult rabbits. Both viruses were shed and transmitted to bystander rabbits. While blood titres indicated that 4-5 week old kittens mostly clear the infection even in the absence of maternal antibodies, virus titres in liver, spleen and mesenteric lymph node were still high on day 5 post infection. Conclusions: Rabbit kittens are susceptible to infection with very low doses of RHDV, and can transmit virus before they seroconvert. They may therefore play an important role in RHDV field epidemiology, in particular for virus transmission within social groups during virus outbreaks.",
keywords = "Biological pest control, Calicivirus, Invasive species, Oryctolagus cuniculus, RHD, RHDVa, Resistance, Time course",
author = "Markus Matthaei and Peter Kerr and Andrew READ and Paul Hick and Stephanie Haboury and John Wright and Tanja STRIVE",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1186/1743-422X-11-109",
language = "English",
volume = "11",
pages = "1--11",
journal = "Virology Journal",
issn = "1743-422X",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "1",

}

Matthaei, M, Kerr, P, READ, A, Hick, P, Haboury, S, Wright, J & STRIVE, T 2014, 'Comparative quantitative monitoring of rabbit haemorrhagic disease viruses in rabbit kittens', Virology Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, 109, pp. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-422X-11-109

Comparative quantitative monitoring of rabbit haemorrhagic disease viruses in rabbit kittens. / Matthaei, Markus; Kerr, Peter ; READ, Andrew; Hick, Paul; Haboury, Stephanie; Wright, John; STRIVE, Tanja.

In: Virology Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, 109, 2014, p. 1-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Comparative quantitative monitoring of rabbit haemorrhagic disease viruses in rabbit kittens

AU - Matthaei, Markus

AU - Kerr, Peter

AU - READ, Andrew

AU - Hick, Paul

AU - Haboury, Stephanie

AU - Wright, John

AU - STRIVE, Tanja

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Background: Only one strain (the Czech CAPM-v351) of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) has been released in Australia and New Zealand to control pest populations of the European rabbit O. cuniculus. Antigenic variants of RHDV known as RHDVa strains are reportedly replacing RHDV strains in other parts of the world, and Australia is currently investigating the usefulness of RHDVa to complement rabbit biocontrol efforts in Australia and New Zealand. RHDV efficiently kills adult rabbits but not rabbit kittens, which are more resistant to RHD the younger they are and which may carry the virus without signs of disease for prolonged periods. These different infection patterns in young rabbits may significantly influence RHDV epidemiology in the field and hence attempts to control rabbit numbers. Methods. We quantified RHDV replication and shedding in 4-5 week old rabbits using quantitative real time PCR to assess their potential to shape RHDV epidemiology by shedding and transmitting virus. We further compared RHDV-v351 with an antigenic variant strain of RHDVa in kittens that is currently being considered as a potential RHDV strain for future release to improve rabbit biocontrol in Australia. Results: Kittens were susceptible to infection with virus doses as low as 10 ID50. Virus growth, shedding and transmission after RHDVa infection was found to be comparable or non-significantly lower compared to RHDV. Virus replication and shedding was observed in all kittens infected, but was low in comparison to adult rabbits. Both viruses were shed and transmitted to bystander rabbits. While blood titres indicated that 4-5 week old kittens mostly clear the infection even in the absence of maternal antibodies, virus titres in liver, spleen and mesenteric lymph node were still high on day 5 post infection. Conclusions: Rabbit kittens are susceptible to infection with very low doses of RHDV, and can transmit virus before they seroconvert. They may therefore play an important role in RHDV field epidemiology, in particular for virus transmission within social groups during virus outbreaks.

AB - Background: Only one strain (the Czech CAPM-v351) of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) has been released in Australia and New Zealand to control pest populations of the European rabbit O. cuniculus. Antigenic variants of RHDV known as RHDVa strains are reportedly replacing RHDV strains in other parts of the world, and Australia is currently investigating the usefulness of RHDVa to complement rabbit biocontrol efforts in Australia and New Zealand. RHDV efficiently kills adult rabbits but not rabbit kittens, which are more resistant to RHD the younger they are and which may carry the virus without signs of disease for prolonged periods. These different infection patterns in young rabbits may significantly influence RHDV epidemiology in the field and hence attempts to control rabbit numbers. Methods. We quantified RHDV replication and shedding in 4-5 week old rabbits using quantitative real time PCR to assess their potential to shape RHDV epidemiology by shedding and transmitting virus. We further compared RHDV-v351 with an antigenic variant strain of RHDVa in kittens that is currently being considered as a potential RHDV strain for future release to improve rabbit biocontrol in Australia. Results: Kittens were susceptible to infection with virus doses as low as 10 ID50. Virus growth, shedding and transmission after RHDVa infection was found to be comparable or non-significantly lower compared to RHDV. Virus replication and shedding was observed in all kittens infected, but was low in comparison to adult rabbits. Both viruses were shed and transmitted to bystander rabbits. While blood titres indicated that 4-5 week old kittens mostly clear the infection even in the absence of maternal antibodies, virus titres in liver, spleen and mesenteric lymph node were still high on day 5 post infection. Conclusions: Rabbit kittens are susceptible to infection with very low doses of RHDV, and can transmit virus before they seroconvert. They may therefore play an important role in RHDV field epidemiology, in particular for virus transmission within social groups during virus outbreaks.

KW - Biological pest control

KW - Calicivirus

KW - Invasive species

KW - Oryctolagus cuniculus

KW - RHD

KW - RHDVa

KW - Resistance

KW - Time course

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84902687295&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/comparative-quantitative-monitoring-rabbit-haemorrhagic-disease-viruses-rabbit-kittens

U2 - 10.1186/1743-422X-11-109

DO - 10.1186/1743-422X-11-109

M3 - Article

VL - 11

SP - 1

EP - 11

JO - Virology Journal

JF - Virology Journal

SN - 1743-422X

IS - 1

M1 - 109

ER -