3 years ago

Prevalence of Equine Hepacivirus Infections in France and Evidence for Two Viral Subtypes Circulating Worldwide

M. Foursin, S. Pronost, F. A. Rey, F. Desbrosse, P.-H. Pitel, B. Saunier, C. Fortier, G. Fortier, E. Hue, E. Richard
Like hepatitis C virus (HCV) in humans, the newly identified equine hepacivirus (NPHV) displays a predominating liver tropism that may evolve into chronic infections. The genomes of the two viruses share several organizational and functional features and are phylogenetically closest amongst the Hepacivirus genus. A limited amount of data is available regarding the spread of hepacivirus infections in horses. In this study, we asked whether in a more representative sample the prevalence and distribution of NPHV infections in France would resemble that reported so far in other countries. A total of 1033 horses sera from stud farms throughout France were analysed by qRT-PCR to determine the prevalence of ongoing NPHV infections and viral loads; in positive samples, partial sequences of NPHV's genome (5′UTR, NS3 and NS5B genes) were determined. Serum concentrations of biliary acids, glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH) and L-gamma-glutamyl transferase (γ-GT) were measured for most horses. We detected NPHV infections in 6.2% of the horses, a prevalence that reached 8.3% in thoroughbreds and was significantly higher than in other breeds. The presence of circulating virus was neither significantly associated with biological disturbances nor with clinical hepatic impairment. Our phylogenetic analysis was based on both neighbour-joining and maximum-likelihood approaches. Its result shows that, like almost everywhere else in the world so far, two major groups of NPHV strains infect French domestic horses. Based on genetic distances, we propose a classification into two separate NPHV subtypes. Viral loads in the serum of horses infected by the main subtype were, in average, four times higher than in those infected by the second subtype. We hypothesize that amino acid substitutions in the palm domain of NS5B between NPHV subtypes could underlie viral phenotypes that explain this result.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/tbed.12587

You might also like
Never Miss Important Research

Researcher is an app designed by academics, for academics. Create a personalised feed in two minutes.
Choose from over 15,000 academics journals covering ten research areas then let Researcher deliver you papers tailored to your interests each day.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.