Understanding RHDV2 interaction with other RHDVs and its potential as an additional rabbit biocontrol agent

Summary

Recent analysis suggests that the exotic variant RHDV2 (in Australia since 2015) is replacing RHDV1 class biocontrol agents in Australian rabbit populations as the dominant RHDV field strain. This has strategic implications both in terms of the risk associated with the long-term persistence and effectiveness of the RHDV1 K5 released in March 2017, offset by the strategic benefit of implementing a synergised rabbit biocontrol regime based on a combination of RHDV1 and RHDV2 biocontrol agents.

This project aims to explore the potential of RHDV2 to complement existing biocontrol agents through a series of experimental studies. This project plays a vital role in the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions 20 years rabbit biocontrol pipeline and aims to understand the potential use of this virus as a future rabbit biocontrol agent.

Status

Commenced

Objectives

  1. Assess RHDV2 based on an experimental virulence assessment in comparison to existing data for other control tools.
  2. Work with the APVMA about the information requirements and data needed to assess RHDV2 as a rabbit biocontrol agent.
  3. Support the development of a multivalent vaccine to protect pet and commercially bred rabbits

Project Leader



Dr Tarnya Cox
Project Team
  • Dr Tarnya Cox, NSW DPI
  • Dr Peter Fleming, NSW DPI 
  • Quentin Hart, NSW DPI 
  • Dr Andrew Read, NSW DPI 
  • Dr Peter Kirkland, NSW DPI 
  • Trudy Sharp, NSW DPI  
  • Dr Tanja Strive, CSIRO 
  • Dr Robyn Hall, CSIRO 
  • Tegan King, CSIRO 
  • Dr Peter Caley, CSIRO 
  • John Kovaliski, PIRSA 
  • Dr Dave Peacock, PIRSA 
  • Dr Brad Page, PIRSA 
Project Partners
  • NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI)
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) 
  • Primary Industry and Regions South Australia (PIRSA)
  • Australian Wool Innovation (AWI)
  • Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)
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