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Detection and molecular analysis of Pseudorabies virus strains isolated from dogs and a wild boar in Italy

Moreno, Ana, Sozzi, Enrica, Grilli, Guido, Gibelli, Lucia Rita, Gelmetti, Daniela, Lelli, Davide, Chiari, Mario, Prati, Paola, Alborali, Giovanni Loris, Boniotti, Maria Beatrice, Lavazza, Antonio, Cordioli, Paolo
Veterinary microbiology 2015 v.177 no.3-4 pp. 359-365
Aujeszky disease, Suid herpesvirus 1, dogs, genome, phylogeny, surveys, swine, wild boars, Italy
Aujeszky's disease (AD) is one of the most economically important diseases of farmed pigs. Wild boars can act as reservoirs and might represent a potential threat for domestic animals, including dogs. The aim of this study was to report the results of an AD survey based on the Pseudorabies virus (PRV) genome detection in samples of dogs clinically suspected of AD and of wild boars collected during four consecutive hunting seasons in the period 2010–2014. Genomic characterization was based on the partial gC sequence of the Italian strains and the comparison with those from domestic pigs and European PRV strains circulating in wild boars. The Italian PRV strains were mainly distributed into three different clusters and revealed two interesting findings. First, there was a clear distinction between the viral strains that were isolated from dogs used for hunting and subsequently traced back to wild boars and the strains that were isolated from working dogs and subsequently found to be closely related to domestic pigs. Second, the Italian epidemiological situation was found to be different from those of European countries in that the Italian situation was characterized by the presence of both the typical Italian clades 1 and 2 and supported by new patterns of aa deletions/insertions. Italian clade 1 included strains from hunting dogs and two Italian wild boars, and Italian clade 2 grouped with recent strains from dogs that were unable to hunt and domestic pigs that were related to one old reference strain (S66) and not included elsewhere. Molecular and phylogenetic analyses of PRV strains are therefore necessary to improve the understanding of the distribution of the PRV clusters and their evolution.