Despite the increasing impact of rhabdoviruses in European percid farming, the diversity of the viral populations is still poorly investigated. To address this issue, we sequenced the partial nucleoprotein (N) and complete glycoprotein (G) genes of nine rhabdoviruses isolated from perch ( Perca fluviatilis ) between 1999 and 2010, mostly from France, and analyzed six of them by immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT). Using two rabbit antisera raised against either the reference perch rhabdovirus (PRhV) isolated in 1980 or the perch isolate R6146, two serogroups were distinguished. Meanwhile, based on partial N and complete G gene analysis, perch rhabdoviruses were divided into four genogroups, A-B-D and E, with a maximum of 32.9% divergence (G gene) between isolates. A comparison of the G amino acid sequences of isolates from the two identified serogroups revealed several variable regions that might account for antigenic differences. Comparative analysis of perch isolates with other rhabdoviruses isolated from black bass, pike-perch and pike showed some strong phylogenetic relationships, suggesting cross-host transmission. Similarly, striking genetic similarities were shown between perch rhabdoviruses and isolates from other European countries and various ecological niches, most likely reflecting the circulation of viruses through fish trade as well as putative transfers from marine to freshwater fish. Phylogenetic relationships of the newly characterized viruses were also determined within the family Rhabdoviridae . The analysis revealed a genetic cluster containing only fish viruses, including all rhabdoviruses from perch, as well as siniperca chuatsi rhabdovirus (SCRV) and eel virus X (EVEX). This cluster was distinct from the one represented by spring viraemia of carp vesiculovirus (SVCV), pike fry rhabdovirus (PFRV) and mammalian vesiculoviruses. The new genetic data provided in the present study shed light on the diversity of rhabdoviruses infecting perch in France and support the hypothesis of circulation of these viruses between other hosts and regions within Europe.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2011
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