Divergent astrovirus associated with neurologic disease in cattle.
ABSTRACT: Using viral metagenomics of brain tissue from a young adult crossbreed steer with acute onset of neurologic disease, we sequenced the complete genome of a novel astrovirus (BoAstV-NeuroS1) that was phylogenetically related to an ovine astrovirus. In a retrospective analysis of 32 cases of bovine encephalitides of unknown etiology, 3 other infected animals were detected by using PCR and in situ hybridization for viral RNA. Viral RNA was restricted to the nervous system and detected in the cytoplasm of affected neurons within the spinal cord, brainstem, and cerebellum. Microscopically, the lesions were of widespread neuronal necrosis, microgliosis, and perivascular cuffing preferentially distributed in gray matter and most severe in the cerebellum and brainstem, with increasing intensity caudally down the spinal cord. These results suggest that infection with BoAstV-NeuroS1 is a potential cause of neurologic disease in cattle.
Project description:In this study, starting from nucleic acids purified from the brain tissue, Nanopore technology was used to identify the etiological agent of severe neurological signs observed in a cow which was immediately slaughtered. Histological examination revealed acute non-suppurative encephalomyelitis affecting the brainstem, cerebrum, cerebellum, and medulla oblongata, while by using PCR-based assays, the nucleic acids of major agents for neurological signs were not detected. By using Nanopore technology, 151 sequence reads were assigned to Bovine Astrovirus (BoAstV). Real-time RT-PCR and in situ hybridization (ISH) confirmed the presence of viral RNA in the brain. Moreover, using the combination of fluorescent ISH and immunofluorescence (IF) techniques, it was possible to detect BoAstV RNA and antigens in the same cells, suggesting the active replication of the virus in infected neurons. The nearly whole genome of the occurring strain (BoAstV PE3373/2019/Italy), obtained by Illumina NextSeq 500, showed the highest nucleotide sequence identity (94.11%) with BoAstV CH13/NeuroS1 26,730 strain, an encephalitis-associated bovine astrovirus. Here, we provide further evidence of the role of AstV as a neurotropic agent. Considering that in a high proportion of non-suppurative encephalitis cases, which are mostly indicative of a viral infection, the etiologic agent remains unknown, our result underscores the value and versatility of Nanopore technology for a rapid diagnosis when the PCR-based algorithm gives negative results.
Project description:Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has opened up the possibility of detecting new viruses in unresolved diseases. Recently, astrovirus brain infections have been identified in neurologically diseased humans and animals by NGS, among them bovine astrovirus (BoAstV) CH13/NeuroS1, which has been found in brain tissues of cattle with non-suppurative encephalitis. Only a few studies are available on neurotropic astroviruses and a causal relationship between BoAstV CH13/NeuroS1 infections and neurological disease has been postulated, but remains unproven. Aiming at making a step forward towards assessing the causality, we collected brain samples of 97 cases of cattle diagnosed with unresolved non-suppurative encephalitis, and analyzed them by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, to determine the frequency and neuropathological distribution of the BoAstV CH13/NeuroS1 and its topographical correlation to the pathology. We detected BoAstV CH13/NeuroS1 RNA or proteins in neurons throughout all parts of the central nervous system (CNS) in 34% of all cases, but none were detected in cattle of the control group. In general, brain lesions had a high correlation with the presence of the virus. These findings show that a substantial proportion of cattle with non-suppurative encephalitis are infected with BoAstV CH13/NeuroS1 and further substantiate the causal relationship between neurological disease and astrovirus infections.
Project description:Astrovirus species members of the Mamastrovirus genus (family Astroviridae) have been increasingly recognized as neuroinvasive pathogens in various mammals, including humans, mink, cattle, sheep, and pigs. While cases of astrovirus-associated encephalitis have been reported in North America, Europe, and Asia, their presence has never been documented in the Southern hemisphere. This paper describes a case of astrovirus-associated encephalitis in cattle in Uruguay that broadens the geographic distribution and genetic diversity of neuroinvasive astroviruses and provides phylogeographic evidence of viral introduction to the Americas from Europe. A 22-month-old Holstein steer from a farm in Colonia Department, Uruguay developed progressive neurological signs over a 3-days period before dying. Histopathological examination of the brain and proximal cervical spinal cord revealed disseminated, moderate to severe lymphocytic, histiocytic, and plasmacytic poliomeningoencephalomyelitis with neuronal necrosis. A Mamastrovirus strain in the CH13/NeuroS1 clade, that we called bovine astrovirus (BoAstV)-Neuro-Uy, was identified by reverse transcriptase PCR followed by nearly complete genome sequencing. Additionally, BoAstV was detected intralesionally in the brain by chromogenic RNA in situ hybridization within neuronal perikarya, axons and dendrites. Phylogenetic analysis of BoAstV-Neuro-Uy revealed a close relationship to neurotropic BoAstVs within the Virginia/Human-Mink-Ovine clade, which contains a growing cadre of neuroinvasive astroviruses. Analyzing the complete coding region of neuroinvasive BoAstVs sequences available in GenBank, we estimated an evolutionary rate of 4.27 × 10-4 (95% HPD 2.19-6.46 × 10-4) nucleotide substitutions/site/year. Phylogeographic analysis suggests that the common viral ancestor circulated in Europe between 1794-1940, and was introduced in Uruguay between 1849-1967, to later spread to North America and Japan.
Project description:A novel bovine astrovirus genotype species (BoAstV-CH13/NeuroS1) was recently identified in brain tissues of cattle as a plausible cause of encephalitis. The purpose of the present study was to develop and validate real time RT-PCR assays for the detection of BoAstV-CH13/NeuroS1 in brain tissues of cattle. Three different primer-probe combinations were designed based on BoAstV-CH13/NeuroS1 full-genome sequences of 11 different strains identified in cattle, and established in three distinct one-step real time RT-PCR protocols. These protocols were compared regarding their diagnostic performance using brain tissues of cattle with and without astrovirus associated encephalitis. The limit of detection (LOD) of all three assays was between 1.34 × 101 and 1.34 × 102 RNA copies, leading to an analytical sensitivity two orders of magnitude superior compared to a conventional pan-astrovirus RT-PCR protocol (LOD 1.31 × 104 RNA copies). Amplification efficiency was in the range of 97.3% to 107.5% with linearity (R2) > 0.99. The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of the assays was determined as 100%, and all three revealed good intra- and inter-test repeatability. In conclusion, the newly developed RT-qPCRs are sensitive, specific, and reliable test formats that will facilitate BoAstV-CH13/NeuroS1 detection in routine diagnostics as well as in research settings.
Project description:A large, highly prolific swine farm in Hungary had a 2-year history of neurologic disease among newly weaned (25- to 35-day-old) pigs, with clinical signs of posterior paraplegia and a high mortality rate. Affected pigs that were necropsied had encephalomyelitis and neural necrosis. Porcine astrovirus type 3 was identified by reverse transcription PCR and in situ hybridization in brain and spinal cord samples in 6 animals from this farm. Among tissues tested by quantitative RT-PCR, the highest viral loads were detected in brain stem and spinal cord. Similar porcine astrovirus type 3 was also detected in archived brain and spinal cord samples from another 2 geographically distant farms. Viral RNA was predominantly restricted to neurons, particularly in the brain stem, cerebellum (Purkinje cells), and cervical spinal cord. Astrovirus was generally undetectable in feces but present in respiratory samples, indicating a possible respiratory infection. Astrovirus could cause common, neuroinvasive epidemic disease.
Project description:Encephalitis is a frequently diagnosed condition in cattle with neurological diseases. Many affected animals present with a nonsuppurative inflammatory reaction pattern in the brain. While this pattern supports a viral etiology, the causative pathogen remains unknown in a large proportion of cases. Using viral metagenomics, we identified an astrovirus (bovine astrovirus [BoAstV]-CH13) in the brain of a cow with nonsuppurative encephalitis. Additionally, BoAstV RNA was detected with reverse transcription-PCR and in situ hybridization in about one fourth (5/22 animals) of cattle with nonsuppurative encephalitis of unknown etiology. Viral RNA was found primarily in neurons and at the site of pathology. These findings support the notion that BoAstV infection is a common cause of encephalitis in cattle. Phylogenetically, BoAstV-CH13 was closely related to rare astrovirus isolates from encephalitis cases in animals and a human patient. Future research needs to be directed toward the pathogenic mechanisms, epidemiology, and potential cross-species transmission of these neurotropic astroviruses.
Project description:Viral infections affecting cattle lead to economic losses to the livestock industry worldwide, but little is known about the circulation, pathogenicity and genetic diversity of enteric bovine astrovirus (BoAstV) in America. The aim of this work was to describe the prevalence and genetic diversity of enteric BoAstV in dairy cattle in Uruguay. A total of 457 fecal and 43 intestinal contents from dairy calves were collected between July 2015 and May 2017 and tested by RT-PCR, followed by sequencing and phylogenetic analyses of the polymerase and capsid regions. Twenty-six percent (128/500) of the samples were positive. Three different species within the Mamastrovirus genus were identified, including Mamastrovirus 28, Mamastrovirus 33 (3 samples each) and an unclassified Mamastrovirus species (19 samples). The unclassified species was characterized as a novel Mamastrovirus species. BoAstV circulates in Uruguayan dairy cattle with a high genetic diversity. The eventual clinicopathological significance of enteric BoAstV infection in cattle needs further investigation.
Project description:Bovine astrovirus (BoAstV) was identified by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction on brain tissue of 2 feedlot cattle that died of non-suppurative encephalitis. Sequencing demonstrated a high degree of identity with neurotropic US and Swiss BoAstV strains. To our knowledge, this is the first confirmed report of BoAstV-associated encephalitis in cattle residing in eastern Canada.
Project description:Congenital tremor is associated with demyelination of the brain and spinal cord and is clinically noted as outbreaks of trembling and shaking in newborn piglets during a limited time-period. Six forms of the disease have been described, where form AII may be caused by an, as yet, unidentified viral infection. This study aimed to investigate the presence of astrovirus and circovirus by sequencing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis and by relating the findings to the occurrence of disease and lesions in the brain, in 4-6 days-old piglets obtained from a clinical outbreak of congenital tremor.In piglets with congenital tremor, there were mild to moderate vacuolar changes of the white matter in the cerebrum, brain stem and cerebellum. In healthy piglets, less conspicuous vacuolar changes were detected. One healthy and one diseased piglet were positive for porcine circovirus type 2. The nested pan-PCR showed the presence of astrovirus in at least one brain region in all piglets and by sequencing, two different porcine astrovirus lineages were identified.The results do not support previous studies identifying porcine circovirus type 2 as the cause of congenital tremor. The demonstration of astrovirus in the brain of piglets suffering from congenital tremor is interesting. However, astrovirus was demonstrated in both healthy and diseased individuals and therefore, further studies are warranted to determine the possible involvement of astrovirus in the pathogenesis of congenital tremor in pigs.
Project description:In mammals, the small, positive-sense single-stranded RNA astroviruses are known as being mostly enterotropic and host-specific. Over the past years, however, they were identified several times in central nervous system tissues of humans, minks, cattle, sheep, and pigs with nonsuppurative inflammatory disease of that organ system. We recently reported such neurotropic astroviruses, amongst which bovine astrovirus CH15 (BoAstV-CH15) in two cows, and ovine astrovirus CH16 (OvAstV-CH16) in a sheep, which were genetically almost identical to one another. In order to investigate the occurrence of this virus species in Switzerland over time, we selected formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) brain tissues of small ruminants diagnosed with severe encephalitis between 1969 and 2012 and screened those by immunohistochemistry for the capsid protein of BoAstV-CH15/OvAstV-CH16. We found one sheep, which died in 1992, that displayed positive immunostaining in various brain regions, and observed that immunostained cells were generally co-localized with the strongest histopathological lesions. We confirmed the virus presence with a second immunohistochemical protocol and demonstrated its close genetic relationship to other BoAstV-CH15/ OvAstV-CH16 strains by next-generation sequencing of an RNA extract from FFPE brain material. Our findings demonstrate that astrovirus BoAstV-CH15/OvAstV-CH16 existed in Switzerland already more than 2 decades ago and underline again the close relationship of the bovine and ovine strains of this virus.