1887

Abstract

The recent emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus from the Middle East and its discovery from dromedary camels has boosted interest in the search for novel viruses in dromedaries. The existence of astroviruses (AstVs) in dromedaries was previously unknown. We describe the discovery of a novel dromedary camel AstV (DcAstV) from dromedaries in Dubai. Among 215 dromedaries, DcAstV was detected in faecal samples of four [three (1.5 %) adult dromedaries and one (8.3 %) dromedary calf] by reverse transcription-PCR. Sequencing of the four DcAstV genomes and phylogenetic analysis showed that the DcAstVs formed a distinct cluster. Although DcAstV was most closely related to a recently characterized porcine AstV 2, their capsid proteins only shared 60–66 % amino acid identity, with a mean amino acid genetic distance of 0.372. Notably, the N-terminal halves of the capsid proteins of DcAstV shared ≤ 85 % amino acid identity, but the C-terminal halves only shared ≤ 49 % amino acid identity compared with the corresponding proteins in other AstVs. A high variation of the genome sequences of DcAstV was also observed, with a mean amino acid genetic distance of 0.214 for ORF2 of the four strains. Recombination analysis revealed a possible recombination event in ORF2 of strain DcAstV-274. The low / ratios (number of non-synonymous substitutions per non-synonymous site to number of synonymous substitutions per synonymous site) of the four ORFs in the DcAstV genomes supported the suggestion that dromedaries are the natural reservoir where AstV is stably evolving. These results suggest that DcAstV is a novel species of the genus in the family . Further studies are important to understand the pathogenic potential of DcAstV.

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2015-09-01
2019-12-05
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