Associations between MHC genes and Puumala virus infection in Myodes glareolus are detected in wild populations, but not from experimental infection data

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Emmanuel Guivier, Maxime Galan, Pierre-Jean G. Male, Eva R. Kallio, Liina Voutilainen, Heikki Henttonen, Gert E. Olsson, Ake Lundkvist, Katrien Tersago, Denis Augot, Jean-Francois Cosson and Nathalie Charbonnel

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Journal of General Virology (2010), 91, 2507–2512 - DOI 10.1099/vir.0.021600-0




MHC class II Dqa and Drb genes on Puumala virus (PUUV) infection in bank voles (Myodes glareolus)


We analysed the influence of MHC class II Dqa and Drb genes on Puumala virus (PUUV) infection in bank voles (Myodes glareolus). We considered voles sampled in five European localities or derived from a previous experiment that showed variable infection success of PUUV. The genetic variation observed in the Dqa and Drb genes was assessed by using single-strand conformation polymorphism and pyrosequencing methods, respectively. Patterns were compared with those obtained from 13 microsatellites. We revealed significant genetic differentiation between PUUV-seronegative and -seropositive bank voles sampled in wild populations, at the Drb gene only. The absence of genetic differentiation observed at neutral microsatellites confirmed the important role of selective pressures in shaping these Drb patterns. Also, we found no significant associations between infection success and MHC alleles among laboratory-colonized bank voles, which is explained by a loss of genetic variability that occurred during the captivity of these voles.