Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV) is one the most relevant pathogens of domestic mink, where it can cause significant economic losses, and wild species, which are considered a threat to mink farms. Despite their relevance, many aspects of the origin, evolution, and geographic and host spreading patterns of AMDV have never been investigated on a global scale using a comprehensive biostatistical approach. The present study, benefitting from a large dataset of sequences collected worldwide and several phylodynamic-based approaches, demonstrates the ancient origin of AMDV and its broad, unconstrained circulation from the initial intercontinental spread to the massive among-country circulation, especially within Europe, combined with local persistence and evolution. Clear expansion of the viral population size occurred over time until more effective control measures started to be applied. The role of frequent changes in epidemiological niches, including different hosts, in driving the high nucleotide and amino acid evolutionary rates was also explored by comparing the strengths of selective pressures acting on different populations. The obtained results suggest that the viral passage among locations and between wild and domesticated animals poses a double threat to farm profitability and animal welfare and health, which is particularly relevant for endangered species. Therefore, further efforts must be made to limit viral circulation and to refine our knowledge of factors enhancing AMDV spread, particularly at the wild-domestic interface.

Impact of viral features, host jumps and phylogeography on the rapid evolution of Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV)

Franzo G.
;
Legnardi M.;Grassi L.;Dotto G.;Drigo M.;Cecchinato M.;Tucciarone C. M.
2021

Abstract

Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV) is one the most relevant pathogens of domestic mink, where it can cause significant economic losses, and wild species, which are considered a threat to mink farms. Despite their relevance, many aspects of the origin, evolution, and geographic and host spreading patterns of AMDV have never been investigated on a global scale using a comprehensive biostatistical approach. The present study, benefitting from a large dataset of sequences collected worldwide and several phylodynamic-based approaches, demonstrates the ancient origin of AMDV and its broad, unconstrained circulation from the initial intercontinental spread to the massive among-country circulation, especially within Europe, combined with local persistence and evolution. Clear expansion of the viral population size occurred over time until more effective control measures started to be applied. The role of frequent changes in epidemiological niches, including different hosts, in driving the high nucleotide and amino acid evolutionary rates was also explored by comparing the strengths of selective pressures acting on different populations. The obtained results suggest that the viral passage among locations and between wild and domesticated animals poses a double threat to farm profitability and animal welfare and health, which is particularly relevant for endangered species. Therefore, further efforts must be made to limit viral circulation and to refine our knowledge of factors enhancing AMDV spread, particularly at the wild-domestic interface.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3399640
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