Sylvatic carnivores, such as raccoons, have recently been recognized as important hosts in the evolution of canine parvovirus (CPV), a pandemic pathogen of domestic dogs. Although viruses from raccoons do not efficiently bind the dog transferrin receptor (TfR) or infect dog cells, a single mutation changing an aspartic acid to a glycine at capsid (VP2) position 300 in the prototype raccoon CPV allows dog cell infection. Because VP2 position 300 exhibits extensive amino acid variation among the carnivore parvoviruses, we further investigated its role in determining host range by analyzing its diversity and evolution in nature and by creating a comprehensive set of VP2 position 300 mutants in infectious clones. Notably, some position 300 residues rendered CPV noninfectious for dog, but not cat or fox, cells. Changes of adjacent residues (residues 299 and 301) were also observed often after cell culture passage in different hosts, and some of the mutations mimicked changes seen in viruses recovered from natural infections of alternative hosts, suggesting that compensatory mutations were selected to accommodate the new residue at position 300. Analysis of the TfRs of carnivore hosts used in the experimental evolution studies demonstrated that their glycosylation patterns varied, including a glycan present only on the domestic dog TfR that dictates susceptibility to parvoviruses. Overall, there were significant differences in the abilities of viruses with alternative position 300 residues to bind TfRs and infect different carnivore hosts, demonstrating that the process of infection is highly host dependent and that VP2 position 300 is a key determinant of host range.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science