The genus Sapovirus, in the family Caliciviridae, includes enteric viruses of humans and domestic animals. Information on sapovirus infection of wildlife is limited and is currently lacking for any free-ranging wildlife species in Africa. By screening a large number of predominantly fecal samples (n = 631) obtained from five carnivore species in the Serengeti ecosystem, East Africa, sapovirus RNA was detected in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta, family Hyaenidae), African lion (Panthera leo, family Felidae), and bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis, family Canidae), but not in golden or silver-backed jackals (Canis aureus and C. mesomelas, respectively, family Canidae). A phylogenetic analysis based on partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene sequences placed the sapovirus strains from African carnivores in a monophyletic group. Within this monophyletic group, sapovirus strains from spotted hyenas formed one independent sub-group, and those from bat-eared fox and African lion a second sub-group. The percentage nucleotide similarity between sapoviruses from African carnivores and those from other species was low (< 70.4%). Long-term monitoring of sapovirus in a population of individually known spotted hyenas from 2001 to 2012 revealed: i) a relatively high overall infection prevalence (34.8%); ii) the circulation of several genetically diverse variants; iii) large fluctuations in infection prevalence across years, indicative of outbreaks; iv) no significant difference in the likelihood of infection between animals in different age categories. The likelihood of sapovirus infection decreased with increasing hyena group size, suggesting an encounter reduction effect, but was independent of socially mediated ano-genital contact, or the extent of the area over which an individual roamed.
|Titolo:||Divergent sapovirus strains and infection prevalence in wild carnivores in the Serengeti ecosystem: A long-term study|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|