ABSTRACT: To understand astrovirus biology, it is essential to understand factors associated with its evolution. The current study reports the genomic sequences of nine novel turkey astrovirus (TAstV) type 2-like clinical isolates. This represents, to our knowledge, the largest genomic-length data set available for any one astrovirus type. The comparison of these TAstV sequences suggests that the TAstV species contains multiple subtypes and that recombination events have occurred across the astrovirus genome. In addition, the analysis of the capsid gene demonstrated evidence for both site-specific positive selection and purifying selection.
Project description:Avian astroviruses comprise a diverse group of viruses affecting many avian species and causing enteritis, hepatitis, and nephritis. To date, six different astroviruses have been identified in avian species based on the species of origin and viral genome characteristics: two turkey-origin astroviruses [Turkey Astrovirus type 1 (TAstV-1) and type 2 (TAstV-2)]; two chicken-origin astroviruses [Avian Nephritis Virus (ANV) and Chicken Astrovirus (CAstV)]; and two duck-origin astrovirus [Duck Astrovirus type 1 (DAstV-1) and type 2 (DAstV-2)]. ANV has also been detected in turkeys, ducklings, pigeons, and guinea fowl; and TAstrovirus-2-like viruses have also been found in guinea fowl. Astroviruses are commonly associated with enteric disease syndromes in poultry including runting-stunting syndrome of broilers (RSS), poult enteritis complex or syndrome (PEC or PES), poult enteritis mortality syndrome (PEMS), and enteritis in guinea fowl. The molecular characterization of the different avian astroviruses shows great genetic variability among each type, and this variability influences the ability to detect these viruses by molecular and serological techniques. In this chapter, we review the different aspects related to avian astroviruses, including molecular biology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and control.
Project description:Sequence data was obtained from the capsid (ORF-2) and the polymerase (ORF-lb) genes of 23 turkey astrovirus (TAstV) isolates collected from commercial turkey flocks around the United States between 2003 and 2004. A high level of genetic variation was observed among the isolates, particularly in the capsid gene, where nucleotide sequence identity among them was as low as 69%. Isolates collected on the same farm, on the same day, but from different houses could have as little as 72% identity between their capsid gene sequences when compared. Phylogenetic analysis of the capsid gene revealed no clear assortment by geographic region or isolation date. The polymerase gene was more conserved with between 86 and 99% nucleotide identity and did assort in a geographic manner. Based on differing topologies of the capsid and polymerase gene phylogenetic trees, TAstV appears to undergo recombination.
Project description:The presence of turkey astrovirus (TAstV) was monitored in meat-type turkey flocks in Poland in 2008. Clinical samples (10 individual faecal swabs/flock) from 77 flocks aged 1-19 weeks were collected from different regions of the country. RT-PCR experiments were performed for detection and molecular characterization of TAstV using four sets of primers within the RdRp gene (ORF1b). The prevalence of astrovirus was 34/77 (44.15%) in the flocks tested. TAstV type 2 was associated with 30 of 77 infections (38.9%), either alone or in mixed infections; TAstV type 1 was detected in 9 of 77 flocks (11.6%), either alone or in mixed infections; ANV was detected only in one flock (1.29%) by sequence analysis during this study. Phylogenetic analysis revealed genetic variability in the TAstV strains that were isolated. Some of Polish TAstV-2 strains were genetically related to the North American isolates; however, most of them formed a distinct subgroup of "European" isolates, suggesting their separate origin or evolution. Additionally, due to the high variability of the TAstV sequences, the most suitable method for TAstV typing seems to be sequencing.
Project description:This study was conducted to detect and characterize enteric viruses [rotavirus, turkey astrovirus-2 (TAstV-2), reovirus, and turkey coronavirus] from cases of poult enteritis syndrome (PES) in Minnesota turkeys. Of the intestinal contents collected from 43 PES cases, 25 were positive for rotavirus and 13 for small round viruses by electron microscopy (EM). Of the enteric virus-positive cases by EM (n=27), 16 cases had rotavirus or small round viruses alone and the remaining 11 cases had both viruses. None of the cases were positive for reovirus or coronavirus by EM. However, with reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), 40 cases (93%) were positive for rotavirus, 36 (84%) for TAstV-2, and 17 (40%) for reovirus. None of the cases were positive for turkey coronavirus by RT-PCR. The viruses from all cases were detected either alone or in combination of 2 or 3 by RT-PCR. Thus, 8 (19%) cases were positive for a single virus, whereas a combination of viruses was detected in the remaining 35 (81%) cases. The rota-TAstV-2 combination was the most predominant (n=18 cases). Fifteen cases were positive for all 3 viruses. The rotaviruses had sequence homology of 89.8 to 100% with previously published sequences of turkey rotaviruses at the nucleotide level. The TAstV-2 had sequence homology of 84.6 to 98.7% with previously published TAstV-2, whereas reoviruses had sequence homology of 91.6 to 99.3% with previously published sequences of turkey reoviruses. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that rota- and reoviruses clustered in a single group, whereas TAstV-2 clustered in 2 different groups. In conclusion, a larger number of PES cases was positive for rotavirus, TAstV-2, and reovirus by RT-PCR than with EM. The presence of more than one virus and changes at the genetic level in a virus may affect the severity of PES in turkey flocks.
Project description:Astroviruses are a leading cause of gastroenteritis in mammals and birds worldwide. Although historically thought to be species-specific, increasing evidence suggests that astroviruses may cross species barriers. In this report, we used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to screen sera from three distinct human cohorts involved in influenza studies in Memphis, TN or Chapel Hill, NC, and Midwestern poultry abattoir workers for antibodies to turkey astrovirus type 2 (TAstV-2). Surprisingly, 26% of one cohort's population was TAstV-2 positive as compared to 0 and 8.9% in the other cohorts. This cohort was composed of people with exposure to turkeys in the Midwestern United States including abattoir workers, turkey growers, and non-occupationally exposed participants. The odds of testing positive for antibodies against turkey astrovirus among abattoir workers were approximately 3 times higher than the other groups. These studies suggest that people with contact to turkeys can develop serological responses to turkey astrovirus. Further work is needed to determine if these exposures result in virus replication and/or clinical disease.
Project description:The disease mechanisms associated with the onset of astrovirus diarrhea are unknown. Unlike other enteric virus infections, astrovirus infection is not associated with an inflammatory response or cellular damage. In vitro studies in differentiated Caco-2 cells demonstrated that human astrovirus serotype 1 (HAstV-1) capsid protein alone disrupts the actin cytoskeleton and tight junction complex, leading to increased epithelial barrier permeability. In this study, we show that oral administration of purified recombinant turkey astrovirus 2 (TAstV-2) capsid protein results in acute diarrhea in a dose- and time-dependent manner in turkey poults. Similarly to that induced by infectious virus, TAstV-2 capsid-induced diarrhea was independent of inflammation or histological changes but was associated with increased intestinal barrier permeability, as well as redistribution of sodium hydrogen exchanger 3 (NHE3) from the membrane to the cytoplasm of the intestinal epithelium. Unlike other viral enterotoxins that have been identified, astrovirus capsid induces diarrhea after oral administration, reproducing the natural route of infection and demonstrating that ingestion of intact noninfectious capsid protein may be sufficient to provoke acute diarrhea. Based on these data, we hypothesize that the astrovirus capsid acts like an enterotoxin and induces intestinal epithelial barrier dysfunction.Acute gastroenteritis, with its sequela diarrhea, is one of the most important causes of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide. A variety of infectious agents cause gastroenteritis, and in many cases, an enterotoxin produced by the agent is involved in disease manifestations. Although we commonly think of bacteria as a source of toxins, at least one enteric virus, rotavirus, produces a protein with enterotoxigenic activity during viral replication. In these studies, we demonstrate that oral administration of the turkey astrovirus 2 (TAstV-2) structural (capsid) protein induces acute diarrhea, increases barrier permeability, and causes relocalization of NHE3 in the small intestine, suggesting that rotavirus may not be alone in possessing enterotoxigenic activity.
Project description:Astroviruses are small, nonenveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses that cause diarrhea in a wide variety of mammals and birds. On the surface of the viral capsid are globular spikes that are thought to be involved in attachment to host cells. To understand the basis of species specificity, we investigated the structure of an avian astrovirus capsid spike and compared it to a previously reported human astrovirus capsid spike structure. Here we report the crystal structure of the turkey astrovirus 2 (TAstV-2) capsid surface spike domain, determined to 1.5-Å resolution, and identify three conserved patches on the surface of the spike that are candidate avian receptor-binding sites. Surprisingly, the overall TAstV-2 capsid spike structure is unique, with only distant structural similarities to the human astrovirus capsid spike and other viral capsid spikes. There is an absence of conserved putative receptor-binding sites between the human and avian spikes. However, there is evidence for carbohydrate-binding sites in both human and avian spikes, and studies with human astrovirus 1 (HAstV-1) suggest a minor role in infection for chondroitin sulfate but not heparin. Overall, our structural and functional studies provide new insights into astrovirus host cell entry, species specificity, and evolution.
Project description:Astroviruses are a leading cause of infantile viral gastroenteritis worldwide. Very little is known about the mechanisms of astrovirus-induced diarrhea. One reason for this is the lack of a small-animal model. Recently, we isolated a novel strain of astrovirus (TAstV-2) from turkeys with the emerging infectious disease poult enteritis mortality syndrome. In the present studies, we demonstrate that TAstV-2 causes growth depression, decreased thymus size, and enteric infection in infected turkeys. Infectious TAstV-2 can be recovered from multiple tissues, including the blood, suggesting that there is a viremic stage during infection. In spite of the severe diarrhea, histopathologic changes in the intestine were mild and there was a surprising lack of inflammation. This may be due to the increased activation of the potent immunosuppressive cytokine transforming growth factor beta during astrovirus infection. These studies suggest that the turkey will be a useful small-animal model with which to study astrovirus pathogenesis and immunity.
Project description:Astrovirus is one of the major causes of infant and childhood diarrhea worldwide. Our understanding of astrovirus pathogenesis trails behind our knowledge of its molecular and epidemiologic properties. Using a recently developed small-animal model, we investigated the mechanisms by which astrovirus induces diarrhea and the role of both the adaptive and innate immune responses to turkey astrovirus type-2 (TAstV-2) infection. Astrovirus-infected animals were analyzed for changes in total lymphocyte populations, alterations in CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratios, production of virus-specific antibodies (Abs), and macrophage activation. There were no changes in the numbers of circulating or splenic lymphocytes or in CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratios compared to controls. Additionally, there was only a modest production of virus-specific Abs. However, adherent spleen cells from infected animals produced more nitric oxide (NO) in response to ex vivo stimulation with lipopolysaccharide. In vitro analysis demonstrated that TAstV-2 induced macrophage production of inducible nitric oxide synthase. Studies using NO donors and inhibitors in vivo demonstrated, for the first time, that NO inhibited astrovirus replication. These studies suggest that NO is important in limiting astrovirus replication and are the first, to our knowledge, to describe the potential role of innate immunity in astrovirus infection.
Project description:Poult enteritis complex has been associated with enteritis and reduction in growth rates in commercial turkeys worldwide. Intestinal samples from 76 turkey flocks from different Brazilian states affected or not with intestinal disorders were evaluated for the presence of adenovirus groups 1 and 2 (TAV), astrovirus types 1 and 2 (TAstV-1 and TAstV-2), turkey coronavirus (TCoV), reovirus, rotavirus, and avian nephritis virus (ANV) using PCR. The percentage of positive samples was categorized according to the geographic origin, age of the flocks, and presence of clinical signs of intestinal disease. The percentage of samples that were positive for at least one virus was 93.4%, whereas the percentage of samples that were positive for more than one virus was 69.7%. An average of 3.20 viruses per sample was detected in turkeys in the growing phase of the production cycle (1 to 4 wk of age). The TAstV-1 and TCoV were the most frequently observed viruses in growing phase turkeys and occurred simultaneously in 85% of these samples. In turkeys in the finishing phase of development (5 to 18 wk), a lower average number of viruses was observed (2.41), and the most frequent viruses isolated in these turkeys were TAstV-1 (57.1%) and rotavirus (51.8%). Overall, every virus was detected more frequently in growing phase turkeys than in finishing phase turkeys with the exception of TAV. Samples from flocks exhibiting clinical signs of intestinal disease showed a higher rate of positivity, and TAstV-1, TAstV-2, and TCoV were the most frequently occurring viruses in this cohort. Birds without clinical signs most frequently harbored TAstV-1 and rotavirus. Future studies should focus on the description and elucidation of the role of each virus, as well as the pathogenic and immunological implications of the different combinations of viruses in turkeys.