Phylogenomic Analysis of Global Isolates of Canid Alphaherpesvirus 1.

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Canid alphaherpesvirus 1 (CHV-1) is a widespread pathogen of dogs with multiple associated clinical signs. There has been limited prior investigation into the genomics and phylogeny of this virus using whole viral genome analysis. Fifteen CHV-1 isolates were collected from animals with ocular disease based in the USA. Viral DNA was extracted for Illumina MiSeq full genome sequencing from each isolate. These data were combined with genomes of previously sequenced CHV-1 isolates obtained from hosts in the UK, Australia and Brazil. Genomic, recombinational and phylogenetic analysis were performed using multiple programs. Two isolates were separated into a clade apart from the remaining isolates and accounted for the majority of genomic distance (0.09%): one was obtained in 2019 from a USA-based host (ELAL-1) and the other in 2012 from a host in Brazil (BTU-1). ELAL-1 was found to contain variants previously reported in BTU-1 but also novel variants in the V57 gene region. Multiple non-synonymous variants were found in USA-based isolates in regions associated with antiviral resistance. Evidence of recombination was detected between ELAL-1 and BTU-1. Collectively, this represents evidence of trans-boundary transmission of a novel form of CHV-1, which highlights the importance of surveillance for this pathogen in domestic dog populations.

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