Genetic diversity of Talpa europaea and Nova hantavirus (NVAV) in France.
Hugot J, Gu SH, Feliu C, Ventur J, Ribas A, Dormion J, Yanagihara R, Nicolas V.
Hugot J, Gu SH, Feliu C, Ventur J, Ribas A, Dormion J, Yanagihara R, Nicolas V. (2014) Genetic diversity of Talpa europaea and Nova hantavirus (NVAV) in France. Bulletin de l’Academie Veterinaire de France 167(3):277-284.
Nova hantavirus (NVAV) was first identified in a single European mole (Talpa europaea), captured in Hungary. Analysis of lung tissues from 94 moles captured in France revealed NVAV in 50%. Based on the genetic diversity of the cytochrome b mtDNA, moles collected in Poitiers and Bordeaux were more closely related to the Iberian mole (T. occidentalis), a species previously assumed to be restricted to the Iberian Peninsula. Several hypotheses are discussed to explain these observations: 1) presence of hitherto unnoticed T. occidentalis in southwestern France; 2) existence of an ancient mitochondrial introgression phenomenon between the two Talpa species, producing a particular phenotype in some hybrids; 3) existence of a hybrid zone between the two species; and 4) existence of a new Talpa species. NVAV was not detected in the southwestern moles, which begs the question of the potential presence of a particular Hantavirus sp. in this population and/or in the Iberian moles.