Astroviruses are frequently associated with enteric diseases in poultry, being isolated from cases of runting-stunting syndrome (RSS) of broiler chickens, poult enteritis complex (PEC), and poult enteritis mortality syndrome (PEMS) of turkeys. Currently, five types of avian astrovirus have been identified: turkey astroviruses 1 and 2 (TAstV-1, TAstV-2), avian nephritis virus (ANV), chicken astrovirus (CAstV) and duck astrovirus (DAstV). The objective of this study was to molecularly characterize the different types of avian astroviruses circulating in commercial poultry. Sequence analysis of a region of ORF2, which encodes the capsid precursor protein associated with serotype and viral pathogenesis, revealed extensive variation in amino acid sequence within each subtype: TAstV-2 (81.5%-100%), ANV (69.9%-100%), and CAstV (85.3%-97.9%). However, this region was more conserved in TAstV-1’s (96.2%-100%). Furthermore, a novel astrovirus was detected in chicken samples and found to be <64% similar to ANV and <30.6% similar to CAstV. The results of this study underline the great genetic variability of avian astroviruses and indicate that there are most likely multiple serotypes of each avian astrovirus circulating in commercial poultry.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2011
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