Oxidative stress in wild European rabbits naturally infected with myxoma virus and rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus

Pacios-Palma, I., Moreno, S., Selman, C. and Rouco, C. (2018) Oxidative stress in wild European rabbits naturally infected with myxoma virus and rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 64(4), 47. (doi: 10.1007/s10344-018-1203-0)

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The European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is one of the most important vertebrate species in the Mediterranean Basin ecosystem. Over the last 60 years, the arrival of two viral diseases, myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease, have led to dramatic declines in wild rabbit populations across the Iberian Peninsula. These diseases are currently endemic. Periodic outbreaks occur and have significant impacts on wild populations. Both infection types have diverse physiological effects on their hosts that are rooted in aerobic metabolic processes. To fight off these viruses, rabbits activate their immune systems. However, the production of immune defences generates reactive oxygen species that may consequently damage host tissues. Hypothesising that immune responses increase oxidative stress, we examined whether wild rabbits naturally infected with myxoma virus (MV) and rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) had high oxidative stress. Using blood samples, we measured anti-MV and anti-RHDV antibody concentrations and different oxidative stress markers (i.e., glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and malondialdehyde). Our results show that rabbits that were seropositive for both MV and RHDV had high concentrations of malondialdehyde. Age and body condition were also positively related to dual seropositivity. No significant relationships were observed between serostatus and the concentrations of the other oxidative stress markers. Although we expected infection with MV and RHDV to be correlated with oxidative stress, the influence of external sources of oxidative stress (e.g., climatic conditions) likely made it more difficult to detect such relationships in wild rabbits.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Isabel Pacios Palma was supported by a predoctoral Severo Ochoa grant from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, through the Severo Ochoa Program for Centers of Excellence in R+D+I (SEV-2012-0262). Carlos Rouco was funded by XXII Propio de Investigación of the University of Córdoba and “Programa Operativo de fondos FEDER Andalucía”.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Selman, Professor Colin
Authors: Pacios-Palma, I., Moreno, S., Selman, C., and Rouco, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:European Journal of Wildlife Research
ISSN (Online):1439-0574
Published Online:21 July 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature
First Published:First published in European Journal of Wildlife Research 64(4): 47
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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