The genome of the European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV), a calicivirus related to rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV), was fully sequenced. It was 7442 bases long and contained two ORFs. In RHDV, the 5′ large ORF (ORF1) is predicted to encode a polyprotein precursor to the non-structural and capsid proteins. The small ORF (ORF2) encodes a predicted protein of 12 kDa. Alignment of sequences of EBHSV and RHDV showed 71% nucleotide identity; the changes were uniformly scattered over the whole genome. Minor differences could be detected when comparing two EBHSV sequences, indicating that EBHSV could vary to the same extent as RHDV. Four cleavage sites previously identified on the RHDV polyprotein were conserved in EBHSV. These sequencing data clearly show that EBHSV and RHDV share a similar genomic organization and confirm that EBHSV and RHDV are two distinct members within the family .


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