High genetic diversity and recombination events of porcine astrovirus strains identified from ill and asymptomatic pigs in 2017, Hunan Province, China

Sun-Liang Lv, Zhang Hui-Hui, Li Jie-Yu, Hu Wen-Qin, Song Ya-Ting, Tanja Opriessnig, Xiao Chao-Ting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Astroviruses (AstV) are associated with enteric and systemic disease in mammals and birds. Astroviruses have received increased attention recently as they have been found to be associated with sporadic neurologic disease in mammals including humans. In pigs, porcine astrovirus (PoAstV) can be widely detected and has been grouped in five genotypes (PoAstV1 to PoAstV5). In the present study, we detected multiple PoAstVs in serum samples, nasal swabs and fecal swabs collected from pigs suffering from respiratory disease or diarrhea but also from asymptomatic pigs, indicating a wide tissue tropism of the identified PoAstV genotypes. Co-infection of different genotypes in the same pig was commonly observed, and within an individual pig a high genetic diversity was observed for viruses belonging to the same PoAstV genotype. Two complete genomes of PoAstV2-WG-R2/2017 and PoAstV4-WG-R2/2017 were successfully obtained and characterized, with genome sizes of 6396 and 6643 nucleotides, respectively. The PoAstV2-WG-R2/2017 genome showed identities of 67.2-77.4% to other known PoAstV2 genomes, and the PoAstV4-WG-R2/2017 genome showed identities of 72.8-80.5% to other known PoAstV4 genomes. The predicted spike domain of open reading frame 2 (ORF2) of these strains showed the highest genetic heterogeneity, with amino acid identities of 13.7-70.9% for PoAstV2-WG-R2/2017 to other known PoAstV2 strains, and identities of 24.4-63.3% for the PoAstV4-WG-R2/2017 to other known PoAstV4 strains. Possible recombination events were identified in each of the two sequences. Two subclades of PoAstV2 and three subclades of PoAstV4 were defined in the present analyses. The obtained data provides further evidence for extra-intestinal infectivity of PoAstVs, and confirmed the high genetic diversity of PoAstVs and the co-infection potential of different PoAstV types in a single pig.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVirus Genes
Early online date1 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Porcine astrovirus
  • RNA virus
  • Genetic diversity
  • Recombination

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