RHD-Boost. Import and evaluate new rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) variants to strengthen rabbit biocontrol

RHDBoostThe RHD Boost project sought to identify new RHDV variants with superior lethality to rabbits with partial protection from endemic Australian Rabbit Calicivirus (RCV-A1) and immunity and/or genetic resistance to infection with existing Australian Czech 351 derived RHDV variants. Any new RHDV strain with greater lethality in rabbits with RCV-A1 is predicted to result in benefits in cooler-wetter regions where RCV-A1 is prevalent, and coincides with higher agricultural and environmental productivity.

The project is a strategic response to the apparent rising genetic resistance to the RHDV Czech 351 RHDV variant, and its limited effectiveness in temperate regions due to the prevalence of the non-pathogenic endemic RCV-A1, which can provide transient protection to lethal infection with RHDV. In Europe, new RHDVa variants are reportedly out-competing the original classical RHDV variants in the field and strongly suppressing wild rabbit populations in cooler, wetter regions.

RHD Boost was a government-industry partnership funded by the Australian Government Caring for Our Country Program, NSW Department of Primary Industries, CSIRO, Australian Wool Innovation, Meat and Livestock Australia and Rabbit Free Australia and managed by the Invasive Animals CRC.

Report to the Vertebrate Pests Committee, Endorsed by the Invasive Animals CRC Rabbit Biocontrol Scientific Committee, May 2014. Produced by the Invasive Animals CRC as part of the PestSmart series.

Secondary title PestSmart
Author Invasive Animals CRC
Year 2014
Place published Canberra
Publisher Invasive Animals CRC
Pages 27
ISBN/ISSN Web ISBN: 978-1-921777-78-3
Control method Biological Control
Region Australia - national

RHD-Boost. Import and evaluate new rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) variants to strengthen rabbit biocontrol     [1.1 Mb PDF]


PestSmart Toolkit for Rabbits: www.pestsmart.org.au/pest-animal-species/european-rabbit/