Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) env recombinants are common in natural infections

Bęczkowski, P. M., Hughes, J. , Biek, R. , Litster, A., Willett, B. J. and Hosie, M. J. (2014) Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) env recombinants are common in natural infections. Retrovirology, 11(80), (doi:10.1186/s12977-014-0080-1) (PMID:25699660) (PMCID:PMC4180853)

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Abstract

Background: Recombination is a common feature of retroviral biology and one of the most important factors responsible for generating viral diversity at both the intra-host and the population levels. However, relatively little is known about rates and molecular processes of recombination for retroviruses other than HIV, including important model viruses such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).<p></p> Results: We investigated recombination in complete FIV env gene sequences (n = 355) isolated from 43 naturally infected cats. We demonstrated that recombination is abundant in natural FIV infection, with over 41% of the cats being infected with viruses containing recombinant env genes. In addition, we identified shared recombination breakpoints; the most significant hotspot occurred between the leader/signal fragment and the remainder of env.<p></p> Conclusions: Our results have identified the leader/signal fragment of env as an important site for recombination and highlight potential limitations of the current phylogenetic classification of FIV based on partial env sequences. Furthermore, the presence of abundant recombinant FIV in the USA poses a significant challenge for commercial diagnostic tests and should inform the development of the next generation of FIV vaccines.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hosie, Professor Margaret and Willett, Professor Brian and Beczkowski, Dr Pawel and Biek, Dr Roman and Hughes, Dr Joseph
Authors: Bęczkowski, P. M., Hughes, J., Biek, R., Litster, A., Willett, B. J., and Hosie, M. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Retrovirology
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1742-4690
ISSN (Online):1742-4690
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Retrovirology 11(80)
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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