Several novel astroviruses have been recently discovered in humans and in other animals. Here, we report results from our surveillance of astroviruses in human and rodent faecal samples in Hong Kong. Classical human astroviruses (=9) and a human MLB1 astrovirus were detected in human faecal samples (=622). Novel astroviruses were detected from 1.6 % of the faecal samples of urban brown rat () (=441), indicating the prevalence of astrovirus infection in rats might be much lower than that recently observed in bats. These rat astroviruses were phylogenetically related to recently discovered human astroviruses MLB1 and MLB2, suggesting that the MLB viruses and these novel rat astroviruses may share a common ancestor.


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vol. , part 10, pp. 2457 - 2462

Primers used in determining rat astrovirus sequences [PDF](70 KB)


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