Lights and shades on an historical vaccine canine distemper virus, the Rockborn strain

Department of Veterinary Public Health, University of Bari, Italy.
Vaccine (Impact Factor: 3.62). 02/2011; 29(6):1222-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.12.001
Source: PubMed


Both egg- and cell-adapted canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccines are suspected to retain residual virulence, especially if administered to immuno-suppressed animals, very young pups or to highly susceptible animal species. In the early 1980s, post-vaccine encephalitis was reported in dogs from various parts of Britain after administration of a particular batch of combined CDV Rockborn strain/canine adenovirus type-1 vaccine, although incrimination of the Rockborn strain was subsequently retracted. Notwithstanding, this, and other reports, led to the view that the Rockborn strain is less attenuated and less safe than other CDV vaccines, and the Rockborn strain was officially withdrawn from the markets in the mid 1990s. By sequencing the H gene of the strain Rockborn from the 46th laboratory passage, and a commercial vaccine (Candur(®) SH+P, Hoechst Rousell Vet GmbH), the virus was found to differ from the commonly used vaccine strain, Onderstepoort (93.0% nt and 91.7% aa), and to resemble more closely (99.6% nt and 99.3% aa) a CDV strain detected in China from a Lesser Panda (Ailurus fulgens). An additional four CDV strains matching (>99% nt identity) the Rockborn virus were identified in the sequence databases. Also, Rockborn-like strains were identified in two vaccines currently in the market. These findings indicate that Rockborn-like viruses may be recovered from dogs or other carnivores with distemper, suggesting cases of residual virulence of vaccines, or circulation of vaccine-derived Rockborn-like viruses in the field.

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    • "Other minor groups have been characterized e.g. Rockborn like-viruses, African, South American, and Asia-3 (subgroup to Asia-2) [15], [17], [22], [23]. The full–length H-genes of the Danish outbreak viruses from mink, foxes and raccoon dog were all phylogenetically characterized as belonging to the European CDV genotype. "
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    ABSTRACT: A major outbreak of canine distemper virus (CDV) in Danish farmed mink (Neovison vison) started in the late summer period of 2012. At the same time, a high number of diseased and dead wildlife species such as foxes, raccoon dogs, and ferrets were observed. To track the origin of the outbreak virus full-length sequencing of the receptor binding surface protein hemagglutinin (H) was performed on 26 CDV's collected from mink and 10 CDV's collected from wildlife species. Subsequent phylogenetic analyses showed that the virus circulating in the mink farms and wildlife were highly identical with an identity at the nucleotide level of 99.45% to 100%. The sequences could be grouped by single nucleotide polymorphisms according to geographical distribution of mink farms and wildlife. The signaling lymphocytic activation molecule (SLAM) receptor binding region in most viruses from both mink and wildlife contained G at position 530 and Y at position 549; however, three mink viruses had an Y549H substitution. The outbreak viruses clustered phylogenetically in the European lineage and were highly identical to wildlife viruses from Germany and Hungary (99.29% - 99.62%). The study furthermore revealed that fleas (Ceratophyllus sciurorum) contained CDV and that vertical transmission of CDV occurred in a wild ferret. The study provides evidence that wildlife species, such as foxes, play an important role in the transmission of CDV to farmed mink and that the virus may be maintained in the wild animal reservoir between outbreaks.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e85598. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0085598 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Rockborn-like strains have been identified from dogs and wild animals as well as in some vaccines currently available on the market (Martella et al., 2011). While canine distemper is endemic in Brazil (Silva et al., 2007), information on the molecular epidemiology of this viral infection is scarce (Castilho et al., 2007; Negrão et al., 2013; Rosa et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a major pathogen of dogs and represents a serious threat to both unvaccinated and vaccinated animals. This study surveyed dogs with or without clinical signs related to canine distemper from different regions of Brazil from 2008-2012. A total of 155 out of 386 animals were found to be CDV positive by RT-PCR; 37 (23.8%) dogs were asymptomatic at the time of sampling, and 90 (58%) displayed clinical signs suggestive of distemper. Nineteen (12.2%) dogs had a record of complete vaccination, 15 (9.6%) had an incomplete vaccination protocol, and 76 (49%) had no vaccination record. Based on the sequence analysis of the complete hemagglutinin gene of 13 samples, 12 of the strains were characterized as Genotype South America-I/Europe. Considering criteria of at least 95% nucleotide identity to define a genotype and 98% to define a subgenotype, South America-I/Europe sequences segregated into eight different phylogenetically well-defined clusters that circulated or co-circulated in distinct geographical areas. Together, these findings highlight the relevance of CDV infection in Brazilian dogs, demonstrate the predominance of one genotype in Brazil and support the need to intensify the current control measures.
    Virus Research 12/2013; 180. DOI:10.1016/j.virusres.2013.12.024 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    • "In addition, some CDV strains identified in Africa, Asia and Argentina (Gallo et al. 2007; Woma et al. 2010; Zhao et al. 2010) appear to diverge substantially and might represent separate geographic groups. Besides the vaccines grouped in America-1 genotype there are some independent strains used as vaccines which are related to Rockborn strain (Martella et al. 2011). Nearly 8–9 % aa variation is observable between America-1 CDVs (including the vaccine strains Onderstepoort and Lederle) and the other CDV genotypes in the full-length H protein but the impact of the observed genetic heterogeneity remains unclear. "
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    ABSTRACT: Canine Distemper is a highly contagious viral systemic disease that affects a wide variety of terrestrial carnivores. Canine Distemper virus (CDV) appears genetically heterogeneous, markedly in the hemagglutinin protein (H), showing geographic patterns of diversification that are useful to monitor CDV molecular epidemiology. In Mexico the activity of canine distemper remains high in dogs, likely because vaccine prophylaxis coverage in canine population is under the levels required to control effectively the disease. By phylogenetic analysis based on the nucleoprotein (N) and on the H genes, Mexican CDV strains collected between 2007 and 2010 were distinguished into several genovariants, all which constituted a unique group, clearly distinct from field and vaccine strains circulating worldwide, but resembling a CDV strain, 19876, identified in Missouri, USA, 2004, that was genetically unrelated to other North-American CDV strains. Gathering information on the genetic heterogeneity of CDV on a global scale appears pivotal in order to investigate the origin and modalities of introduction of unusual/novel CDV strains, as well as to understand if vaccine breakthroughs or disease epidemics may be somewhat related to genetic/antigenic or biological differences between field and vaccine strains.
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