Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2014Peer reviewedOpen access

Molecular evolution and antigenic variation of European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV)

Lopes, Ana M.; Gavier-Widen, Dolores; Abrantes, Joana


European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV) is the aetiological agent of European brown hare syndrome (EBHS), a disease affecting Lepus europaeus and Lepus timidus first diagnosed in Sweden in 1980. To characterize EBHSV evolution we studied hare samples collected in Sweden between 1982 and 2008. Our molecular clock dating is compatible with EBHSV emergence in the 1970s. Phylogenetic analysis revealed two lineages: Group A persisted until 1989 when it apparently suffered extinction; Group B emerged in the mid-1980s and contains the most recent strains. Antigenic differences exist between groups, with loss of reactivity of some MAbs over time, which are associated with amino acid substitutions in recognized epitopes. A role for immune selection is also supported by the presence of positively selected codons in exposed regions of the capsid. Hence, EBHSV evolution is characterized by replacement of Group A by Group B viruses, suggesting that the latter possess a selective advantage. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV); Evolution; Antigenic variation

Published in

2014, Volume: 468, pages: 104-112

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)