European Brown Hare Syndrome


European brown hare syndrome (EBHS) is a highly contagious, acute disease of the European hare (Lepus europeaus) and mountain hare (Lepus timidus) first described in the early 1980s in Northern Europe (Gavier-Widén and Mörner 1991). The aetiology of EBHS remained unclear until it was shown through animal experiments and electron microscopy (EM) analysis (Eskens and Volmer 1989; Lavazza and Vecchi 1989) that it is caused by a non-enveloped positive-strand RNA virus with a diameter of about 32–35 nm, showing morphological characteristics indistinguishable from those of the rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) (Capucci et al. 1991) and biochemical features typical of the Caliciviridae family (Wirblich et al. 1994). EBHSV is composed of a single-stranded RNA of about 7.5 kb and a subgenomic RNA of 2.2 kb in length. It has a single major capsid protein of approximately 60 kD that shares epitopes with the capsid protein of RHDV (Wirblich et al. 1994) and haemagglutinates human group O red blood cells (Gavier-Widén and Mörner 1991).


Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus European Hare Mountain Hare Hare Population 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Zoo and Wildlife ResearchBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Tierpark Arche WarderWarderGermany
  3. 3.Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia ed Emilia Romagna “B. Ubertini”BresciaItaly

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