Relationships between host-species specificities and glycan specificities of 1 pathogenic and non-pathogenic lagoviruses

Abstract : The rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) and the European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV) are two lagoviruses from the family Caliciviridae that cause fatal diseases in two leporid genera, Oryctolagus and Lepus, respectively. In the last few years, several examples of host jumps of lagoviruses among leporids were recorded. In addition, a new pathogenic genotype of RHDV emerged and many non-pathogenic strains of lagoviruses have been described. The molecular mechanisms behind host shifts and the emergence of virulence are unknown. Since RHDV uses glycans of the histo-blood group antigen type as attachment factors to initiate infection, we studied if glycan specificities of the new pathogenic RHDV genotype, non-pathogenic lagoviruses and EBHSV potentially play a role in determining host range and virulence of lagoviruses. We observed binding to A, B or H antigens of the histo-blood group family for all strains known to primarily infect European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), that have recently been classified as GI strains. Yet, it failed to explain the emergence of virulence since similar glycan specificities were found between several pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains. EBHSV, recently classified as GII.1, instead, bound to terminal -linked N-acetylglucosamine residues of O-glycans. Expression of these attachment factors in the upper respiratory and digestive tracts in three lagomorph species (Oryctolagus cuniculus, Lepus europaeus and Sylvilagus floridanus) showed species- specific patterns in relation with the susceptibility to these viruses, indicating that species-specific glycan expression is likely a major contributor of lagoviruses host specificity and range.
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Journal of Virology, American Society for Microbiology, In press, Epub ahead of print
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Ana Lopes, Adrien Breiman, Mónica Lora, Béatrice Le Moullac-Vaidye, Oxana Galanina, et al.. Relationships between host-species specificities and glycan specificities of 1 pathogenic and non-pathogenic lagoviruses. Journal of Virology, American Society for Microbiology, In press, Epub ahead of print. 〈inserm-01636824〉

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