Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Arizona
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Kraberger, Simona; Laurel EK Serieys, Cécile Richet, Nicholas M Fountain-Jones, Guy Baele, Jacqueline M Bishop, Mary Nehring, Jacob S Ivan, Eric S Newkirk, John R Squires, Michael C Lund, Seth PD Riley, Christopher C Wilmers, Paul D van Helden, Koenraad Van Doorslaer, Melanie Culver, Sue VandeWoude, Darren P Martin, and Arvind Varsani. 2021. Complex evolutionary history of felid anelloviruses. Virology, 562:176-189


Anellovirus infections are highly prevalent in mammals but prior to this study only a handful of anellovirus genomes had been identified in members of the Felidae family. Here characterise anelloviruses in pumas (Puma concolor), bobcats (Lynx rufus), Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), caracals (Caracal caracal) and domestic cats (Felis catus). The complete anellovirus genomes (n=220) recovered from 149 individuals were diverse. ORF1 protein sequence similarity network analyses coupled with phylogenetic analyses, revealed two distinct clusters that are populated by felid-derived anellovirus sequences, a pattern mirroring that observed for the porcine anelloviruses. Of the two-felid dominant anellovirus groups, one includes sequences from bobcats, pumas, domestic cats and an ocelot, and the other includes sequences from caracals, Canada lynx, domestic cats and pumas. Coinfections of diverse anelloviruses appear to be common among the felids. Evidence of recombination, both within and between felid-specific anellovirus groups, supports a long coevolution history between host and virus.