Ana Margarida Lopes |March 7, 2014 | 15h20 | CIBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão




European brown hare syndrome (EBHS), first diagnosed in Sweden in 1980, is a fatal disease for Lepus europaeus and L. timidus. In this seminar, I will present part of the results of the first two years of my PhD, which represent the first description of European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV) evolution in the area of original diagnosis of the virus. For this, genetic and antigenic analyses were performed on Swedish samples collected between 1982 and 2008. The phylogenetic analysis revealed two evolutionary lineages, the first corresponding to the original evolutionary lineage and the other grouping the most recent isolates and also other European samples. Contrasting antigenic profiles were observed between the two evolutionary lineages, which point to a major shift in EBHSV evolution that is associated with antigenic drift. Additionally, the hypothetical positively selected codons detected are located in the exposed P2 subdomain of the virus capsid, and likely result from pressure of the host immune system. Overall, our study shows that antigenic drift has been central to the evolution of EBHSV, likely contributing to its emergence and persistence.



Ana Margarida is a 3rd year PhD student in the Doctoral Program in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution (BIODIV). Her work on host-pathogen interactions is being conducted in CIBIO-InBIO, under the supervision of Pedro Esteves and Joana Abrantes, and in CRCNA (Nantes) under the supervision of Jacques Le Pendu.



Image credits: Ana Margarida Lopes