3 years ago

Ranavirus phylogenomics: Signatures of recombination and inversions among bullfrog ranaculture isolates

Ranaviruses are emerging pathogens of fish, amphibians, and reptiles that threaten aquatic animal industries and wildlife worldwide. Our objective was to genetically characterize ranaviruses isolated during separate bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus die-offs that occurred eight years apart on the same North American farm. The earlier outbreak was due to a highly pathogenic strain of common midwife toad virus (CMTV) previously known only from Europe and China. The later outbreak was due to a chimeric ranavirus that displayed a novel genome arrangement and a DNA backbone typical for Frog virus 3 (FV3) strains except for interspersed fragments acquired through recombination with the CMTV isolated earlier. Both bullfrog ranaviruses are more pathogenic than wild-type FV3 suggesting recombination may have resulted in the increased pathogenicity observed in the ranavirus isolated in the later outbreak. Our study underscores the role international trade in farmed bullfrogs may have played in the global dissemination of highly pathogenic ranaviruses.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0042682217302489

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