Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Phylogenetic analysis of the haemagglutinin gene of canine distemper virus strains detected from breeding foxes, raccoon dogs and minks in China.

Abstract

Canine distemper virus (CDV) infects a variety of carnivores, including wild and domestic Canidae. Genetic/antigenic heterogeneity has been observed among the various CDV strains, notably in the haemagglutinin (H) gene, that appears as a good target to gather epidemiological information. Based on sequence analysis of the H gene, wild-type CDV strains cluster into distinct geographic lineages (genotypes), irrespective of the species of isolation. The sequence of the H gene of 28 CDV strains detected from both vaccinated and non-vaccinated breeding foxes, raccoon dogs and minks from different geographical areas of China during the years 2004-2008 was determined. All the CDV strains but two (strains HL and HLJ2) were characterized as Asia-1 genotype and were highly similar to each other (96.2-99.7% at the amino acid [aa] level) and to other Asia-1 strains (96.1-99.5% aa) previously detected in China. The CDV strains HL and HLJ2 were both collected from foxes in Heilongjiang province in 2005. Strain HL resembled CDVs of the Arctic genotype (GR88-like) and displayed high aa identity (98.0%) to the Chinese canine strain Liu. By converse, strain HLJ2 was barely related to CDVs of the Asia-2 genotype (88.7-90.3% aa identity), and could represent a novel CDV genotype, tentatively proposed as Asia-3. These results suggest that at least three different CDV genotypes, distantly related (81.8-91.6% aa identity) to the vaccine strains, Onderstepoort-like (America-1 genotype), are currently circulating in breeding foxes, raccoon dogs and minks in China, and that the genotype Asia-1 is predominant. Whether the diversity between wild-type CDVs and the vaccine strains may affect, to some extent, the efficacy of the vaccines deserves further investigations.