Small ruminant lentiviruses (SRLVs) represent a very heterogeneous group of ss-RNA viruses that infect sheep and goats worldwide. They cause important, deleterious effects on animal production and limit the animal trade. SRLVs show a high genetic variability due to high mutation rate and frequent recombination events. Indeed, five genotypes (A-E) and several subtypes have been detected. The aim of this work was to genetically characterize SRLVs circulating in central Italy. On this basis, a phylogenetic study on the gag-pol genetic region of 133 sheep, collected from 19 naturally infected flocks, was conducted. In addition, to evaluate the frequency of mutation and the selective pressure on this region, a WebLogo 3 analysis was performed, and the dN/dS ratio was computed. The results showed that 26 samples out of 133 were clustered in genotype A and 106 samples belonged to genotype B, as follows: A9 (n = 8), A11 (n = 10), A24 (n = 7), B1 (n = 2), B2 (n = 59), and B3 (n = 45). No recombination events were found. Mutations were localized mainly in the VR-2 region, and the dN/dS ratio of 0.028 indicated the existence of purifying selection. Since the genetic diversity of SRLVs could make serological identification difficult, it is important to perform molecular characterization to ensure a more reliable diagnosis, to maintain flock health status, and for the application of local and national control programs.

Genetic Characterization of Small Ruminant Lentiviruses (SRLVs) Circulating in Naturally Infected Sheep in Central Italy

Arcangeli, Chiara;Passamonti, Fabrizio;
2022

Abstract

Small ruminant lentiviruses (SRLVs) represent a very heterogeneous group of ss-RNA viruses that infect sheep and goats worldwide. They cause important, deleterious effects on animal production and limit the animal trade. SRLVs show a high genetic variability due to high mutation rate and frequent recombination events. Indeed, five genotypes (A-E) and several subtypes have been detected. The aim of this work was to genetically characterize SRLVs circulating in central Italy. On this basis, a phylogenetic study on the gag-pol genetic region of 133 sheep, collected from 19 naturally infected flocks, was conducted. In addition, to evaluate the frequency of mutation and the selective pressure on this region, a WebLogo 3 analysis was performed, and the dN/dS ratio was computed. The results showed that 26 samples out of 133 were clustered in genotype A and 106 samples belonged to genotype B, as follows: A9 (n = 8), A11 (n = 10), A24 (n = 7), B1 (n = 2), B2 (n = 59), and B3 (n = 45). No recombination events were found. Mutations were localized mainly in the VR-2 region, and the dN/dS ratio of 0.028 indicated the existence of purifying selection. Since the genetic diversity of SRLVs could make serological identification difficult, it is important to perform molecular characterization to ensure a more reliable diagnosis, to maintain flock health status, and for the application of local and national control programs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1534321
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