1887

Abstract

Thirty-nine parvovirus strains contained in faecal samples collected in Italy (=34) and UK (=5) from cats with feline panleukopenia were characterized at the molecular level. All viruses were proven to be true feline panleukopenia virus (FPLV) strains by a minor groove binder probe assay, which is able to discriminate between FPLV and the closely related canine parvovirus type 2. By using sequence analysis of the VP2 gene, it was found that the FPLV strains detected in Italy and UK were highly related to each other, with a nucleotide identity of 99.1–100 and 99.4–99.8 % among Italian and British strains, respectively, whereas the similarities between all the sequences analysed were 98.6–100 %. Eighty-eight variable positions were detected in the VP2 gene of the field and reference FPLV strains, most of which were singletons. Synonymous substitutions (=57) predominated over non-synonymous substitutions (=31), and the ratio between synonymous and non-synonymous substitutions (d/d) was 0.10, thus confirming that evolution of FPLV is driven by random genetic drift rather than by positive selection pressure. Some amino acid mutations in the VP2 protein affected sites that are thought to be responsible for antigenic and biological properties of the virus, but no clear patterns of segregation and genetic markers, were identified, confirming that FPLV is in evolutionary stasis.

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2008-09-01
2019-11-20
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