Epidemiology and molecular characterization of Carnivore protoparvovirus-1 infection in the wild felid Leopardus guigna in Chile

Irene Sacristán, Fernando Esperón, Rubén Pérez, Francisca Acuña, Emilio Aguilar, Sebastián García, María José López, Elena Neves, Javier Cabello, Ezequiel Hidalgo-Hermoso, Karen A. Terio, Javier Millán, Elie Poulin, Constanza Napolitano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Landscape anthropization has been identified as one of the main drivers of pathogen emergence worldwide, facilitating pathogen spillover between domestic species and wildlife. The present study investigated Carnivore protoparvovirus-1 infection using molecular methods in 98 free-ranging wild guignas (Leopardus guigna) and 262 co-occurring owned, free-roaming rural domestic cats. We also assessed landscape anthropization variables as potential drivers of infection. Protoparvovirus DNA was detected in guignas across their entire distribution range, with observed prevalence of 13.3% (real-time PCR) and 9% (conventional PCR) in guignas, and 6.1% (conventional PCR) in cats. Prevalence in guigna did not vary depending on age, sex, study area or landscape variables. Prevalence was higher in juvenile cats (16.7%) than in adults (4.4%). Molecular characterization of the virus by amplification and sequencing of almost the entire vp2 gene (1,746 bp) from one guigna and five domestic cats was achieved, showing genetic similarities to canine parvovirus 2c (CPV-2c) (one guigna and one cat), feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) (one cat), CPV-2 (no subtype identified) (two cats), CPV-2a (one cat). The CVP-2c-like sequence found in a guigna clustered together with domestic cat and dog CPV-2c sequences from South America, suggesting possible spillover from a domestic to a wild species as the origin of infection in guigna. No clinical signs of disease were found in PCR-positive animals except for a CPV-2c-infected guigna, which had haemorrhagic diarrhoea and died a few days after arrival at a wildlife rescue centre. Our findings reveal widespread presence of Carnivore protoparvovirus-1 across the guigna distribution in Chile and suggest that virus transmission potentially occurs from domestic to wild carnivores, causing severe disease and death in susceptible wild guignas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3335-3348
Number of pages14
JournalTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Leopardus guigna
  • canine parvovirus
  • domestic cats
  • feline panleukopenia virus
  • infectious diseases
  • landscape drivers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary


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