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Rabbit calici virus adapts? (Alwyn Smith)

Brian Sandle bsandle at southern.co.nz
Thu Dec 14 14:21:32 EST 1995

Brian Sandle (bsandle at southern.co.nz) wrote:
: Ross & Kathy Bloore (dingo.cc.uq.oz.au) wrote:
: : bsandle at southern.co.nz (Brian Sandle) wrote:
: : >I have recently heard Alwyn Smith of Oregon State University speaking
: : >about rabbit calici virus. He says that the people who say it will not
: : >adapt to other species are hoping that it will differ from other calici
: : >viruses in that respect. The other calici viruses do adapt.
: : >
: : >It is being debated whether to release it in New Zealand.
: : >
: : >Any ideas?
: : >
: : >Brian Sandle. Shell to snail? bsandle at southern.co.nz
: : >
: : The CSIRO (the Govt science organisation) in Australia reckons that Smith 
: : isn't up with the latest on the virus, and that the rabbit version is 
: : nothing like the ones Smith was referring to, and doesn't mutate or 
: : transfer to other species as other versions of the virus can.  They claim 
: : there is therefore little danger.
: : 
: : Generally the CSIRO seems to be pretty reliable on these things, and not 
: : known for downplaying dangers for political purposes, so their statements 
: : can probably be taken at face value.  On the other hand, they were the 
: : ones who let the virus escape from quarantine in the first place.....
: : 
: : Ross Bloore.
: What is the derviation of the name 'calici'? Is it indeed a misnomer 
: calling the rabbit haemorrhagic virus a 'calici' virus if it is different 
: from all the others?
: Smith also said that it is possible it could inhabit other species 
: without showing symptoms, eventually, if it does not indeed show them. Is 
: that a fair trade-off?

Thank you for the replies.

The name should be spelt Alvin Smith.

Calicivirus comes from the latin word calix meaning cup.  Caliciviruses
have cup shaped surface structures when viewed under the electron

I understand that nobody seems to know why it is impossible to protect
some cats from feline calcivirus. Viral persistence has been an ongoing

Would using the laboratory-growable caliciviruses as a model to predict 
the "behavior" of other caliciviruses seems reasonable? (RHDV and other
caliciviruses (Norwalk, Hepatitis E))

How much more sequencing work like that of Bruce Seal and John Neal
needs to be done with the viruses that won't grow in tissue culture 
before it could be said that they are known sufficiently?

The sequencing data which does exist usually focuses on only two regions
(about 500 bases long each) in an 8000 base genome.

Given that: 

Dr. Smith has isolated and characterized many different serotypes of
caliciviruses.  Most of these isolates came from marine mammals

Using these laboratory-growable(?) viruses, Dr. Smith has shown that a
few of the agents are very host non-specific, one serotype can replicate
in Northern fur seals, California sea lions, pigs, fish, humans, other

Brian Sandle. Shell to snail? bsandle at southern.co.nz

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