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Journal Articles Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation Year : 2021

Molecular characterization of encephalomyocarditis virus strains isolated from an African elephant and rats in a French zoo

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Abstract

In November 2013, a fatal encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) case in a captive African elephant ( Loxodonta africana) occurred at the Réserve Africaine de Sigean, a zoo in the south of France. Here we report the molecular characterization of the EMCV strains isolated from samples collected from the dead elephant and from 3 rats ( Rattus rattus) captured in the zoo at the same time. The EMCV infection was confirmed by reverse-transcription real-time PCR (RT-rtPCR) and genome sequencing. Complete genome sequencing and sequence alignment indicated that the elephant’s EMCV strain was 98.1–99.9% identical to the rat EMCV isolates at the nucleotide sequence level. Phylogenetic analysis of the ORF, P1, VP1, and 3D sequences revealed that the elephant and rat strains clustered into lineage A of the EMCV 1 group. To our knowledge, molecular characterization of EMCV in France and Europe has not been reported previously in a captive elephant. The full genome analyses of EMCV isolated from an elephant and rats in the same outbreak emphasizes the role of rodents in EMCV introduction and circulation in zoos.

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anses-03899563 , version 1 (14-12-2022)

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Aurore Romey, Benjamin Lamglait, Yannick Blanchard, Fabrice Touzain, Helene Quenault, et al.. Molecular characterization of encephalomyocarditis virus strains isolated from an African elephant and rats in a French zoo. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, 2021, 33 (2), pp.313-321. ⟨10.1177/1040638720978389⟩. ⟨anses-03899563⟩
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