Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lion Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Has Undergone Substantial Genetic Recombination

Date:
February 10, 2008
Source:
BMC Genomics
Summary:
Parts of feline immunodeficiency virus isolated from wild lions have undergone substantial genetic recombination. The sequencing of the two full FIV genomes of different lion subtypes shows the importance of whole-genome analysis in understanding complex genetic events. These findings will be relevant to big cat conservation and developing more effective animal models for HIV.

Parts of feline immunodeficiency virus isolated from wild lions have undergone substantial genetic recombination.
Credit: iStockphoto/Sandra vom Stein

Parts of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) isolated from wild lions have undergone substantial genetic recombination, says new research. The sequencing of the two full FIV genomes of different lion subtypes shows the importance of whole-genome analysis in understanding complex genetic events. These findings will be relevant to big cat conservation and developing more effective animal models for HIV.

FIV is a member of the lentivirus family of retroviruses, as is HIV. The feline virus causes similar disease progression to HIV in domestic cats, and is used by researchers as an animal model for human disease.

FIV also infects a number of other cat species, many of which are endangered. The virulence and pathogenicity of the virus varies between species, but the genetic contribution to this variation is unclear. Full-length viral genome sequences are vital for scientists to understand the extent of genetic involvement yet, until recently, only six species-specific strains of FIV had been sequenced in full: Pallas cat, domestic cat (subtypes A, B and C) and puma (subtypes A and B).

Now, Jill Pecon-Slattery and Stephen J. O'Brien from the National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research in Frederick, MD, USA and colleagues from the USA and Botswana have sequenced the genomes of two lion FIV subtypes in full: FIVPle subtype B, isolated from lions in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, and FIVPle subtype E, isolated from lions in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Using comparative genomics methods the team found that the two viral subtypes shared a common evolutionary history -- confirming earlier research that suggested FIV has evolved in a species-specific manner.

However, the lion viruses showed substantial variation in the env gene region, which encodes the envelope glycoprotein essential for viral binding and entry. Lion virus subtype E was more closely related to domestic cat virus than to lion subtype B or Pallas cat virus. The researchers suggest this is due to recombination between strains in the wild, either involving an unidentified lion FIV strain or a strain from another African cat species.

The authors write: "The changes observed in the env gene as a consequence of recombination in FIVPle will provide important clues to the natural history of these viruses and their hosts, and may lead to insights into genetic determinants of pathogenicity and virulence differences between domestic cat and lion FIV; findings with important implications for HIV pathogenesis in humans and virus attenuation in wild populations of endangered species."

Journal reference: Genomic organization, sequence divergence, and recombination of feline immunodeficiency virus from lions in the wild. Jill Pecon-Slattery, Carrie L. McCracken, Jennifer L. Troyer, Sue VandeWoude, Melody Roelke, Kerry Sondgeroth, Christiaan Winterbach, Hanlie Winterbach and Stephen J. O'Brien. BMC Genomics (in press)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMC Genomics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMC Genomics. "Lion Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Has Undergone Substantial Genetic Recombination." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204212855.htm>.
BMC Genomics. (2008, February 10). Lion Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Has Undergone Substantial Genetic Recombination. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204212855.htm
BMC Genomics. "Lion Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Has Undergone Substantial Genetic Recombination." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204212855.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins