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Saturday, 2 November 2019

New powerful ranavirus discovered that can spread among amphibians

Of the invasive pathogens that are decimating the reptile populations in various areas the United States we have already mentioned and now a new study, appeared in the journal Ecological Modeling and produced by researchers of the University of Tennessee, shows the existence of a new ranavirus similar to a Frog virus 3 (FV3).

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The new ranavirus, called RCV-Z2, can, according to researchers who have developed a specific model to predict its spread, spread just as quickly in a tadpole population of North American wood frogs ( Lithobates sylvaticus ) and transmission can occur in a very efficient through direct contact, through necrophagy (if the subjects feed on the bodies of other infected subjects) or even by water.

The ranaviruses are pathogens that are emerging globally and affect mainly reptiles, amphibians and fish threatening the ecological diversity of these species and therefore all the eco-environments in which they are found.
To combat the ranavirus emergency, which has become global, researcher Matt Gray founded and directs the Global Ranavirus Consortium.

The same Gray states in the press release published on the University of Tennessee website:
"In our previous work, we discovered that RCV-Z2 is a recombinant ranavirus that has the DNA of a strain in North America and one from Europe and Asia. We think these viruses mixed DNA on a frog farm in South Georgia: the result was a highly virulent hybrid virus. The point of this modeling effort was to demonstrate how this virus evolved with the DNA of the eastern hemisphere can infect and spread into a kind of amphibian. The news is not good ".

And this without counting the trade in amphibians and other wild animals that may be subject to these infections: with a trade of this type their pathogens can be moved around the world, something that could make the infection truly global.

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