1887

Abstract

With advances in viral surveillance and next-generation sequencing, highly diverse novel astroviruses (AstVs) and different animal hosts had been discovered in recent years. However, the existence of AstVs in marmots had yet to be shown. Here, we identified two highly divergent strains of AstVs (tentatively named Qinghai Himalayanmarmot AstVs, HHMAstV1 and HHMAstV2), by viral metagenomic analysis in liver tissues isolated from wild Marmota himalayana in China. Overall, 12 of 99 (12.1 %) M . himalayana faecal samples were positive for the presence of genetically diverse AstVs, while only HHMAstV1 and HHMAstV2 were identified in 300 liver samples. The complete genomic sequences of HHMAstV1 and HHMAstV2 were 6681 and 6610 nt in length, respectively, with the typical genomic organization of AstVs. Analysis of the complete ORF 2 sequence showed that these novel AstVs are most closely related to the rabbit AstV, mamastrovirus 23 (with 31.0 and 48.0 % shared amino acid identity, respectively). Phylogenetic analysis of the amino acid sequences of ORF1a, ORF1b and ORF2 indicated that HHMAstV1 and HHMAstV2 form two distinct clusters among the mamastroviruses, and may share a common ancestor with the rabbit-specific mamastrovirus 23. These results suggest that HHMAstV1 and HHMAstV2 are two novel species of the genus Mamastrovirus in the Astroviridae. The remarkable diversity of these novel AstVs will contribute to a greater understanding of the evolution and ecology of AstVs, although additional studies will be needed to understand the clinical significance of these novel AstVs in marmots, as well as in humans.

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2017-04-27
2019-10-23
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