1887

Abstract

A novel picornavirus from commercial broiler chickens ( has been identified and genetically characterized. The viral genome consists of a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA genome of >9243 nt excluding the poly(A) tail and as such represents one of the largest picornavirus genomes reported to date. The virus genome is GC-rich with a G+C content of 54.5 %. The genomic organization is similar to other picornaviruses: 5′ UTR–L–VP0–VP3–VP1–2A–2B–2C–3A–3B–3C–3D–3′ UTR. The partially characterized 5′ UTR of >373 nt appears to possess a type II internal ribosomal entry site (IRES), which is also found in members of the genera and . This IRES exhibits significant sequence similarity to turkey ‘gallivirus A’. The 3′ UTR of 278 nt contains the conserved 48 nt ‘barbell-like’ structure identified in ‘passerivirus’, ‘gallivirus’, and some genus members. A predicted large open reading frame (ORF) of 8592 nt encodes a potential polyprotein precursor of 2864 amino acids. In addition, the virus contains a predicted large L protein of 462 amino acids. Pairwise sequence comparisons, along with phylogenetic analysis revealed the highest percentage identity to ‘Passerivirus A’ (formerly called turdivirus 1), forming a monophyletic group across the P1, P2 and P3 regions, with <40, <40 and <50 % amino acid identity respectively. Reduced identity was observed against ‘gallivirus A’ and members of the genus. Quantitative PCR analysis estimated a range of 4×10 to 5×10 viral genome copies g in 22 (73 %) of 30 PCR-positive faeces. Based on sequence and phylogenetic analysis, we propose that this virus is the first member of a potential novel genus within the family . Further studies are required to investigate the pathogenic potential of this virus within the avian host.

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2014-05-01
2019-10-20
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