Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/113597
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Type: Journal article
Title: Rabbit haemorrhagic disease: Applying Occam's Razor to competing hypotheses
Author: Peacock, D.
Mutze, G.
Sinclair, R.
Kovaliski, J.
Cooke, B.
Citation: Molecular Ecology, 2012; 21(5):1038-1041
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 0962-1083
1365-294X
Statement of
Responsibility: 
David Peacock, Greg Mutze, Ron Sinclair, John Kovaliski and Brian Cooke
Abstract: Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) is a highly virulent lagovirus endemic in Europe and Australasian populations of the European rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus. It has also caused several unexplained disease outbreaks in domestic European rabbits in North America. Non-pathogenic spread of RHDV leading to persistent infection which later reactivated has recently been proposed as the cause of overt disease and death of a pet rabbit in Canada, the first confirmed case of Rabbit haemorrhagic disease in that country. We suggest that there is little evidence to support non-pathogenic spread of virulent RHDV, some evidence that is contradictory, and evidence to support a simpler alternative hypothesis. RHDV can be spread over long distances between sparse rabbit populations by fomites or flying insects. Although highly pathogenic, RHDV can be limited in its spread within rabbit populations, or its presence masked by closely related but non-pathogenic lagoviruses which can provide protection against acute disease. In the absence of any evidence from clinical studies to support reactivation of persistent RHDV infection, the simpler explanation seems more likely to be correct.
Keywords: Oryctolagus cuniculus; pathogenicity; RHD; rabbit
Description: Commentary
Rights: © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05466.x
Appears in Collections:Animal and Veterinary Sciences publications
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