HOST-PATHOGEN COEVOLUTION: THE EUROPEAN RABBIT VS. THE RABBIT HAEMORRHAGIC DISEASE VIRUS

with Joana Abrantes (IMID, CIBIO-InBIO) | October 27, 2017 - 16h00| CIBIO-InBIO, Vairão, Portugal

 

In the past 50 years, the European rabbit populations have been severely decimated by two highly fatal viral diseases, myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease. In the Mediterranean ecosystem, the decline in the rabbit populations compromises efforts for the recovery of rabbit-dependent predators, and is associated with significant economic losses. Myxomatosis represents a classical example of host-pathogen co-evolution, since from the European rabbit-myxoma virus interplay, resistant rabbits were selected and attenuated viruses (which were more efficiently transmitted) became dominant. However, this ongoing co-evolutionary dynamic between resistance and virulence is not as easily recognised for rabbit haemorrhagic disease. In this talk, I will show an overview of the work we have been developing on the rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus and provide insights into the coevolution with the European rabbit.

 

Joana Abrantes is a biologist working on host-pathogen coevolution by using leporids and their viral diseases as research models (e.g. myxomatosis, rabbit haemorrhagic disease and European brown hare syndrome). She primarily focused her research on the study of the host genetic resistance, but she is now more focused on the study of virus evolution. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology and she is auxiliary researcher at CIBIO-InBIO/UP in the IMID-Immunogenetics, Microbes and Infectious Diseases’ group. Her current research project focuses on the emergence and evolution of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus and the new variant.

 

[Host: Pedro Esteves, Immunogenetics, Microbes and Infectious Diseases]