Canine circovirus (CanineCV) is a recently identified virus affecting both domestic and wild carnivores, including foxes, sometimes in presence of severe clinical signs. Its circulation in wild animals can thus represent a potential threat for endangered species conservation and an infection source for dogs. Nevertheless, no data were available on its circulation in the Alps region of Northern Italy. In the present study, samples collected from 186 foxes in the period 2009–2020 from Valle d’Aosta and Veneto regions were tested using a real-time PCR assay, demonstrating a viral circulation of approximatively 2–5%, depending on the considered regions. Two complete or almost complete genome sequences were obtained, highlighting that the detected strains were part of a so defined “fox only” clade, which suggests that, despite common contact opportunities, Alps foxes are not involved in frequent transmission events to domestic dogs. Such genetic isolation could be at least partially attributed to some sort of independent evolution occurred in the foxes, leading to species barrier. Additionally, CanineCV strains in foxes from Italy were unexpectedly related to those previously identified in foxes from the United Kingdom and Scandinavian area. Combining the history of fox distribution in Europe since the last glacial maximum (LGM) with the viral history allowed us to speculate a long-standing coexistence between European canine circovirus and this host, justifying the peculiar geographic distribution and evolutionary paths of the fox infecting clade.

Canine circovirus in foxes from northern Italy: Where did it all begin?

Franzo G.
;
Menandro M. L.;Tucciarone C. M.;Crovato L.;Mondin A.;Libanora M.;Obber F.;Citterio C.;Grassi L.
2021

Abstract

Canine circovirus (CanineCV) is a recently identified virus affecting both domestic and wild carnivores, including foxes, sometimes in presence of severe clinical signs. Its circulation in wild animals can thus represent a potential threat for endangered species conservation and an infection source for dogs. Nevertheless, no data were available on its circulation in the Alps region of Northern Italy. In the present study, samples collected from 186 foxes in the period 2009–2020 from Valle d’Aosta and Veneto regions were tested using a real-time PCR assay, demonstrating a viral circulation of approximatively 2–5%, depending on the considered regions. Two complete or almost complete genome sequences were obtained, highlighting that the detected strains were part of a so defined “fox only” clade, which suggests that, despite common contact opportunities, Alps foxes are not involved in frequent transmission events to domestic dogs. Such genetic isolation could be at least partially attributed to some sort of independent evolution occurred in the foxes, leading to species barrier. Additionally, CanineCV strains in foxes from Italy were unexpectedly related to those previously identified in foxes from the United Kingdom and Scandinavian area. Combining the history of fox distribution in Europe since the last glacial maximum (LGM) with the viral history allowed us to speculate a long-standing coexistence between European canine circovirus and this host, justifying the peculiar geographic distribution and evolutionary paths of the fox infecting clade.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3399697
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