Seasonal host and ecological drivers may promote restricted water as a viral vector

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Anisha Dayaram
  • Peter Seeber
  • Alexandre Courtiol
  • Sanatana Soilemetzidou
  • Kyriakos Tsangaras
  • Mathias Franz
  • Gayle K. McEwen
  • Walid Azab
  • Petra Kaczensky
  • Jörg Melzheimer
  • Marion L. East
  • Oyunsaikhan Ganbaatar
  • Christian Walzer
  • Alex D. Greenwood

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number145446
Journal / PublicationScience of the Total Environment
Volume773
Online published2 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021

Abstract

In climates with seasonally limited precipitation, terrestrial animals congregate at high densities at scarce water sources. We hypothesize that viruses can exploit the recurrence of these diverse animal congregations to spread. In this study, we test the central prediction of this hypothesis — that viruses employing this transmission strategy remain stable and infectious in water. Equid herpesviruses (EHVs) were chosen as a model as they have been shown to remain stable and infectious in water for weeks under laboratory conditions. Using fecal data from wild equids from a previous study, we establish that EHVs are shed more frequently by their hosts during the dry season, increasing the probability of water source contamination with EHV. We document the presence of several strains of EHVs present in high genome copy number from the surface water and sediments of waterholes sampled across a variety of mammalian assemblages, locations, temperatures and pH. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that the different EHV strains found exhibit little divergence despite representing ancient lineages. We employed molecular approaches to show that EHVs shed remain stable in waterholes with detection decreasing with increasing temperature in sediments. Infectivity experiments using cell culture reveals that EHVs remain infectious in water derived from waterholes. The results are supportive of water as an abiotic viral vector for EHV.

Research Area(s)

  • Water, Viral transmission, Equine herpesviruses

Citation Format(s)

Seasonal host and ecological drivers may promote restricted water as a viral vector. / Dayaram, Anisha; Seeber, Peter; Courtiol, Alexandre; Soilemetzidou, Sanatana; Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Franz, Mathias; McEwen, Gayle K.; Azab, Walid; Kaczensky, Petra; Melzheimer, Jörg; East, Marion L.; Ganbaatar, Oyunsaikhan; Walzer, Christian; Osterrieder, Nikolaus; Greenwood, Alex D.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 773, 145446, 15.06.2021.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review