Molecular Investigation of Canine Parvovirus-2 (CPV-2) Outbreak in Nevis Island: Analysis of the Nearly Complete Genomes of CPV-2 Strains from the Caribbean Region
To date, there is a dearth of information on canine parvovirus-2 (CPV-2) from the Caribbean region. During August–October 2020, the veterinary clinic on the Caribbean island of Nevis reported 64 household dogs with CPV-2-like clinical signs (hemorrhagic/non-hemorrhagic diarrhea and vomiting), of which 27 animals died. Rectal swabs/fecal samples were obtained from 43 dogs. A total of 39 of the 43 dogs tested positive for CPV-2 antigen and/or DNA, while 4 samples, negative for CPV-2 antigen, were
... CPV-2 antigen, were not available for PCR. Among the 21 untested dogs, 15 had CPV-2 positive littermates. Analysis of the complete VP2 sequences of 32 strains identified new CPV-2a (CPV-2a with Ser297Ala in VP2) as the predominant CPV-2 on Nevis Island. Two nonsynonymous mutations, one rare (Asp373Asn) and the other uncommon (Ala262Thr), were observed in a few VP2 sequences. It was intriguing that new CPV-2a was associated with an outbreak of gastroenteritis on Nevis while found at low frequencies in sporadic cases of diarrhea on the neighboring island of St. Kitts. The nearly complete CPV-2 genomes (4 CPV-2 strains from St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN)) were reported for the first time from the Caribbean region. Eleven substitutions were found among the SKN genomes, which included nine synonymous substitutions, five of which have been rarely reported, and the two nonsynonymous substitutions. Phylogenetically, the SKN CPV-2 sequences formed a distinct cluster, with CPV-2b/USA/1998 strains constituting the nearest cluster. Our findings suggested that new CPV-2a is endemic in the region, with the potential to cause severe outbreaks, warranting further studies across the Caribbean Islands. Analysis of the SKN CPV-2 genomes corroborated the hypothesis that recurrent parallel evolution and reversion might play important roles in the evolution of CPV-2.