Infection Load and Prevalence of Novel Viruses Identified from the Bank Vole Do Not Associate with Exposure to Environmental Radioactivity
Kesäniemi, Jenni; Lavrinienko, Anton; Tukalenko, Eugene; Mappes, Tapio; Watts, Phillip C.; Jurvansuu, Jaana (2020). Infection Load and Prevalence of Novel Viruses Identified from the Bank Vole Do Not Associate with Exposure to Environmental Radioactivity. Viruses, 12 (1), 44. DOI: 10.3390/v12010044
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland
Bank voles (Myodes glareolus) are host to many zoonotic viruses. As bank voles inhabiting areas contaminated by radionuclides show signs of immunosuppression, resistance to apoptosis, and elevated DNA repair activity, we predicted an association between virome composition and exposure to radionuclides. To test this hypothesis, we studied the bank vole virome in samples of plasma derived from animals inhabiting areas of Ukraine (contaminated areas surrounding the former nuclear power plant at Chernobyl, and uncontaminated areas close to Kyiv) that differed in level of environmental radiation contamination. We discovered four strains of hepacivirus and four new virus sequences: two adeno-associated viruses, an arterivirus, and a mosavirus. However, viral prevalence and viral load, and the ability to cause a systemic infection, was not dependent on the level of environmental radiation.