A ‘Calicivirus Map of Australia’ for Improving the Effectiveness of Rabbit Biocontrol

Lead researcher: Tanja Strive, CSIRO, tanja.strive@csiro.au

This one year project had three objectives:

  1. Generating a ‘Calicivirus Map of Australia’.

Rabbit serum samples from different sites across mainland Australia were analysed for the presence of both the benign calicivirus and RHDV. These data were used to map the distribution and boundaries of the two caliciviruses.

  1. Assessing the seasonal dynamics of the benign calicivirus.

Samples periodically collected from at least three sites with high rabbit densities and confirmed presence of benign calicivirus were used to test for possible seasonal patterns in virus occurrence. The sampling period covered at least twelve months and where possible two years. The presence of different types of antibodies to benign virus and changes in virus titres were used to infer benign calicivirus epidemics. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-analysis was conducted to detect virus directly where possible.

  1. Summarising and distributing the information

The results of this study are communicated via this report and through presentations at conferences and stakeholder meetings, as well as in peer reviewed journal publications.

The following publication resulted from this work:

Liu, J., Fordham, D. A., Cooke, B. D., Cox, T., Mutze., G and Strive, T. (2014) Distribution and prevalence of Australian non-pathogenic rabbit calicivirus is correlated with rainfall and temperature. PLoS ONE 9(12), available at https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0113976

More information (Invasive Animals CRC website): 
www.invasiveanimals.com/research/phase2/land-pests/landscape-control-rabbits/non-pathogenic-rabbit-caliciviruses/

This project was funded under the Australian Pest Animal Research Program (APARP).
For more APARP projects, visit: www.pestsmart.org.au/australian-pest-animal-research-program/

Author Australian Pest Animal Research Program (APARP)
Institution CSIRO
Control method Biological Control
Region Australia - national
Links

More information (Invasive Animals CRC website): 
www.invasiveanimals.com/research/phase2/land-pests/landscape-control-rabbits/non-pathogenic-rabbit-caliciviruses/