Polyomaviruses of birds are aetiological agents of acute inflammatory diseases in non-immunocompromised hosts, which is in contrast to mammalian polyomaviruses. VP4, an additional structural protein encoded by the viral genomes of the known avian polyomaviruses, has been suggested to contribute to pathogenicity through loss of cells following induction of apoptosis. Four distinct bird polyomaviruses have been identified so far, which infect crows, finches, geese and parrots. Using broad-spectrum PCR, a novel polyomavirus, tentatively designated canary polyomavirus (CaPyV), was detected in diseased canary birds () that died at an age of about 40 days. Intranuclear inclusion bodies were found in the liver, spleen and kidneys. The entire viral genome was amplified from a tissue sample using rolling-circle amplification. Phylogenetic analysis of the genome sequence indicated a close relationship between CaPyV and other avian polyomaviruses. Remarkably, an ORF encoding VP4 could not be identified in the CaPyV genome. Therefore, the mechanism of pathogenicity of CaPyV may be different from that of the other avian polyomaviruses.


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vol. , part 12, pp. 3016–3022

Information on the polyomaviruses used in alignments.

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