Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) emerged in 1984 in China and subsequently a single strain apparently dispersed worldwide killing millions of rabbits. Two isolates that caused outbreaks in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have been sequenced and analysed phylogenetically. The Saudi Arabian lineage is directly descended from the Chinese strain, but the Bahrain isolate occupies a distinct and more divergent lineage than the Chinese virus implying that epidemic RHDV strains have emerged at least twice during the past 20 years and are co-circulating in both domestic and wild rabbits.
- Emerging viruses
- Middle East
- Phylogenetic analysis
- Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus
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