Characterisation of the epidemiology of lagoviruses
Collection of rabbit/hare samples from the different geographical areas under study.
Liver, spleen and duodenum samples will be collected from deceased leporids (rabbits and hares). When possible, blood samples will be collected to determine the population serostatus and to identify seropositive (resistant) leporids.
Genotyping of viral isolates detected in the collected tissue samples.
A first screening by ELISA followed by traditional PCR, using conserved primers designed according to lagovirus genomes, and sequencing will be used to genotype the strains. Relevant genomes will be further obtained by genome-walking or NGS. Evolutionary analyses will be performed to determine recombination events, possible origin of the outbreaks, and virulence markers.
Analyses of the serological status of leporid populations.
In order to monitor circulation of RHDV, titration of specific antibodies arising from natural infections will be monitored by OIE-prescribed immunoassays developed by partner 6 as well as by an indirect ELISA assay using GI.1 and GI.2 derived virus-like particles (VLPs) generated by partner 1 (Barcena et al. Veterinary Research, 2015; Rouco et al. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 2018).