Re: Feline calicivirus and VHD--Related? Yes, they are
"The feline calicivirus is a member of the Vesivirus genus within the
Caliciviridae family; RHDV is a Lagovirus. The fact that there is a
taxonomic difference between the Vesiviridae and Lagoviridae is quite
significant, scientifically speaking"...
Yet recent studies show that Calicivirus can jump more than genera:
"In the journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases 1998;26:434-9 it is
shown that a calicivirus previously isolated from the flippers of
northern fur seals [San Miguel sea lion virus serotype 5 (SMSV-5)]
is now a human pathogen. In the journal article "In Vitro Isolation
and Characterization of a Calicivirus Causing a Vesicular Disease of
the Hands and Feet" by A. W. Smith, E. S. Berry,, D. E. Skilling, J.
E. Barlough, S. E. Poet, T. Berke, J. Mead. and D. O. Matson"
"In vitro cultivation of caliciviruses indicates that these
pathogens have been emerging periodically from ocean sources for 65
years (1). The best-documented example of ocean caliciviruses
causing disease in terrestrial species is the animal disease
vesicular exanthema of swine (VES) (1). Feline calicivirus (the only
member of the group with a seemingly ubiquitous and continuous
terrestrial presence) also appears to have ocean reservoirs (2). The
source of caliciviruses causing gastroenteritis in humans is
frequently shellfish, which do not always come from beds
contaminated with human waste (3,4). The origins of hepatitis E are
often obscure, but water is one suspected source (5). The most
recent emerging calicivirus is associated with rabbit hemorrhagic
disease (RHD), and although an ocean association has not been
reported, the agent readily moves between continents and crosses
ocean channels (6). Finally, the only reported in vitro isolation
and sequential propagation of a calicivirus pathogenic for humans is
a virus residing in the sea (7). " from: Calicivirus Emergence from
Ocean Reservoirs: Zoonotic and Interspecies Movements
Alvin W. Smith Douglas E. Skilling Neil Cherry, Jay H. Mead, David
O. Matson Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA Lincoln
University, New Zealand Red Cross, Portland, Oregon, USA Children's
Hospital of the King's Daughters, Eastern Virginia Medical School,
Norfolk, Virginia, USA; Emerging Infectious Diseases Jan. - Mar.
1998 Vol. 4 No. 1
--- H. V. McMurray , m.s. biology
--- In VHDInfo@y..., "Pamela Alley" <rnrq@c...> wrote:
> At this point, any speculation about the new hemorrhagic
calicivirus of cats and a connection with VHD in ANY WAY beyond the
fact that the viruses happen to be in the same (and very broad may I
add) family of viruses....is completely out of line.
> I spoke with the department at UC Davis which originated the
report that showed up on PROMED today--there is NO...repeat, NO,
reason to think at this time that the two diseases are related in
any way whatsoever.
- Thanks for your input! However, I'd like to point out the following:
Regardless of species *affected*, it does not change the *taxonomic*
placement of the virus should the virus show up in a species not formerly
affected. That a sea lion virus can affect a human is intriguing, and we
wonder why, but it does not change the fact that it is still *that
particular virus*. There is no 'typical disease' associated with a
particular group of RNA viruses; as an example, the European rabbit
calicivirus (RCV) is only a few amino acids different than RHDV in sequence,
and yet it is nonpathogenic in nature.
Feline calicivirus is still a Vesivirus and rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus
(RHDV) is still sufficiently differentiated from the Vesiviruses to be
termed a Lagovirus. As many virologists can tell you, names are not given,
nor changed, lightly. Even if they both popped up tomorrow in elephants,
they'd still retain their classification based on their physical and genetic
However, there seems to be quite the inclination to discuss ALL
Caliciviridae, rather than RHDV specifically. Why? Perhaps it's the need
to politicize cited by a member of the RHD Coalition; perhaps it's because
there is more eye-catching interest in RHDV from that angle. Perhaps it's
because more is known of other members of the family Caliciviridae, and
therefore, more to discuss.
At this point in time, I am consistently assured by Drs. Shawky, Gregg, and
Capucci that there is no reason to suspect that RHDV is a threat to human
health or welfare. I suppose that it is of interest to those who study
other Caliciviridae and their properties to postulate such a change, but to
those seeking resolution of the single complex problem posed by rabbit viral
hemorrhagic disease (RVHD), it is not particularly constructive, as it draws
attention from the very crucial issues of protection and prevention.
Drs. Gregg and Capucci are the designated OIE experts on the RHD virus and
its consequences; as they have been so kind as to discuss my unending
questions over the last several years, I thank them deeply.
At this point in time, the resounding answer to many of the questions
regarding RHDV is "WE DON'T KNOW.". And without more, specific,
information, we aren't likely to.
I'd also like to point out that, although there have been claims of
antibodies found in humans closely associated with ill animals, the presence
of antibody does not necessarily indicate the occurrence of disease....just
that exposure has occurred at some point. No clinical disease in humans to
date has been associated with RHDV to the best of my knowledge. (See
Thanks for reading!
Pamela Alley, RVT
Director, Rabbit Industry Council
Greenslade E, Weinstein P, Woodward A, Capucci L, Salmond C, Beasley R.
A serological survey of antibodies to rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus
(rabbit calicivirus disease) in two rural Central Otago communities.
N Z Med J. 2001 Feb 23;114 (1126):55-7
- In a message dated 9/30/2002 3:31:55 AM Pacific Standard Time,
>Please note that RHD is genetically linked to Sapo Viruses, the former "human
> Feline calicivirus is still a Vesivirus and rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus
> (RHDV) is still sufficiently differentiated from the Vesiviruses to be
> termed a Lagovirus.
calicivirus" now known to infect and cause disease in multiple species.
> No clinical disease in humans toPlease note, when Dr. Capucci, whom you cite, actually studied serum
> date has been associated with RHDV to the best of my knowledge. (See
> reference below)
collected from humans exposed to RHD in a natural setting in New Zealand, the
results were never published or released to the public. New Zealand paid for
that study and then hid the results.
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