A novel terrestrial rabies virus lineage occurring in south america: Origin, diversification, and evidence of contact between wild and domestic cycles

Diego A. Caraballo, Cristina Lema, Laura Novaro, Federico Gury-Dohmen, Susana Russo, Fernando J. Beltrán, Gustavo Palacios, Daniel M. Cisterna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The rabies virus (RABV) is characterized by a history dominated by host shifts within and among bats and carnivores. One of the main outcomes of long-term RABV maintenance in dogs was the establishment of variants in a wide variety of mesocarnivores. In this study, we present the most comprehensive phylogenetic and phylogeographic analysis, contributing to a better understanding of the origins, diversification, and the role of different host species in the evolution and diffusion of a dog-related variant endemic of South America. A total of 237 complete Nucleoprotein gene sequences were studied, corresponding to wild and domestic species, performing selection analyses, ancestral states reconstructions, and recombination analyses. This variant originated in Brazil and disseminated through Argentina and Paraguay, where a previously unknown lineage was found. A single host shift was identified in the phylogeny, from dog to the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous) in the Northeast of Brazil. Although this process occurred in a background of purifying selection, there is evidence of adaptive evolution-or selection of sub-consensus sequences-in internal branches after the host shift. The interaction of domestic and wild cycles persisted after host switching, as revealed by spillover and putative recombination events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2484
JournalViruses
Volume13
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Dog-related
  • Host shift
  • Nucleoprotein
  • Phylogeny
  • Rabies
  • Recombination
  • Selection

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