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Molecular epidemiology and characterization of picobirnavirus in wild deer and cattle from Australia: Evidence of Genogroup I and II in the upper respiratory tract

Huaman, J.L., Pacioni, C., Sarker, S., Doyle, M., Forsyth, D.M., Pople, A., Hampton, J.O., Carvalho, T.G. and Helbig, K.J. (2021) Molecular epidemiology and characterization of picobirnavirus in wild deer and cattle from Australia: Evidence of Genogroup I and II in the upper respiratory tract. Viruses, 13 (8). Art. 1492.

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Abstract

Picobirnaviruses (PBVs) have been detected in several species of animals worldwide; however, data pertaining to their presence in Australian wild and domestic animals are limited. Although PBVs are mostly found in faecal samples, their detection in blood and respiratory tract samples raises questions concerning their tropism and pathogenicity. We report here PBV detection in wild deer and cattle from southeastern Australia. Through metagenomics, the presence of PBV genogroups I (GI) and II (GII) were detected in deer serum and plasma. Molecular epidemiology studies targeting the partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene were performed in a wide range of specimens (serum, faeces, spleen, lung, nasal swabs, and trachea) collected from wild deer and cattle, with PCR amplification obtained in all specimen types except lung and spleen. Our results reveal the predominance of GI and concomitant detection of both genogroups in wild deer and cattle. In concordance with other studies, the detected GI sequences displayed high genetic diversity, however in contrast, GII sequences clustered into three distinct clades. Detection of both genogroups in the upper respiratory tract (trachea and nasal swab) of deer in the present study gives more evidence about the respiratory tract tropism of PBV. Although much remains unknown about the epidemiology and tropism of PBVs, our study suggests a wide distribution of these viruses in southeastern Australia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2021 The Authors.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/61788
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