Coinfections of novel polyomavirus, anelloviruses and a recombinant strain of myxoma virus-MYXV-tol identified in Iberian hares

Ana Ägueda-Pinto, Simona Kraberger, Michael C. Lund, Christian Gortázar, Grant McFadden, Arvind Varsani, Pedro J. Esteves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Viruses are ubiquitous in nature; however, very few have been identified in the Leporid species. In the fall of 2018, an outbreak of myxomatosis in Iberian hares (Lepus granatensis) was reported in Spain and a novel recombinant myxoma virus strain (MYXV-Tol) was identified. To investigate variability within the recombinant region of the MYXV-Tol and identify any potential viral coinfections, samples (ear, eyelid or vaginal) of Iberian hares were collected from Spain and analyzed. The presence of the recombinant region of the MYXV-Tol was confirmed in six out of eleven samples analyzed. Additionally, a polyomavirus (family Polyomaviridae), representing a putative new species, and anelloviruses (family Anelloviridae) belonging to two putative species were identified, some as coinfection with the recombinant MYXV-Tol. The two polyomavirus genomes were identified in two hares and share >99% genome-wide identity. Based on the analysis of their large T-antigen, the new polyomavirus clusters in a distant clade from other mammals sharing <64% amino acid identity. A total of 14 anelloviruses were identified, which share 63-99% genome-wide identity. Overall, our results show a coinfection of different DNA viruses in the studied samples and raise awareness regarding the extensive unsampled diversity of viruses in hares.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number340
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020



  • Anelloviridae
  • Coinfection
  • Iberian hare
  • Leporidae
  • Lepus granatensis
  • Myxoma virus
  • Polyomaviridae
  • Spain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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