The nucleotide sequence of 1.7 kbp cDNA, comprising the region nearest the 3′ end of the genome of the porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV), has been independently determined for two European isolates of PEDV. Almost identical results were obtained for the two isolates, which were derived from cases of PEDV infection in Belgium and Britain in 1977 and 1987, respectively. The sequences contained a 1323 nucleotide (nt) open reading frame (ORF), which showed moderate identity to the nucleocapsid (N) gene of other coronaviruses. The greatest similarity at both the nucleic acid and protein levels was to the human coronavirus 229E. The PEDV N gene was, however, notably larger than that of the human 229E and porcine transmissible gastroenteritis viruses. This reflects the presence of a putative insertion of approximately 135 nt located towards the middle of the N gene. A second 336 nt ORF, which might encode a leucine-rich protein similar to, but shorter than, the bovine coronavirus internal protein was found within the PEDV N gene. Several RNA motifs typical of coronaviruses were also observed. These results confirm the earlier provisional classification of PEDV as a coronavirus.


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