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Advancements in Scientific Knowledge

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Comparison of ranaviruses from reptiles and amphibians in Europe

A number of infectious diseases have long been known to play a role in the health of both wild and captive amphibians and reptiles. In amphibians, they are even partially responsible for the global amphibian declines. Of these, ranaviruses are particularly concerning because of their ability to infect a wide range of hosts, including fish, amphibians, and reptiles. In recent years, ranaviruses have increasingly been detected in reptilian hosts. The relationships between amphibian and reptilian ranaviruses and the risk that these viruses pose for each group is not yet understood. This project is studying the relationships between ranaviruses from amphibians and reptiles based on genomic sequences to help us understand where these viruses come from, what animals they can infect and what effect they might have on different animals.

We have been studying ranaviruses from frogs, salamanders, tortoises, lizards, and snakes based on sequences from various parts of their genomes. The research so far indicates that these viruses are not species specific and can be transmitted between hosts of different animal classes, and that both amphibians and reptiles may therefore play a role in the epidemiology of these viruses.

 

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