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Isolation and evolutionary analyses of gout-associated goose astrovirus causing disease in experimentally infected chickens.


ABSTRACT: Astroviruses are a common cause of gastroenteritis in humans and animals. They are also associated with extraintestinal infections, including hepatitis in ducklings, nephritis in chickens, as well as fatal meningitis and encephalitis in humans and other mammals. Since 2014, outbreaks of disease characterized by visceral gout and swelling of kidneys have been reported in goslings and ducklings in China, with the causative agent revealed to be a novel avian astrovirus designated goose astrovirus (GoAstV). In the present study, this novel gout-associated GoAstV was identified in diseased goslings from 2 farms in Hunan province, China. Three genomes were successfully sequenced and analyzed and were shown to have high identities of 99.7 to 99.8% between each other, with some specific amino acid alterations revealed in open reading frame 2 when compared with other gout-associated GoAstVs. Two strains were further efficiently isolated in the DF-1 chicken fibroblast cell line with high virus titers of 1011 viral genomic copies per mL of culture media. A pilot virus challenge study using GoAstV in chickens demonstrated that this virus can cause clinical visceral gout in chickens, indicating its ability to cross the species barrier. Based on the phylogenetic analyses of capsid sequences, the identified GoAstVs were proposed to be classified into 2 genotypes, GoAstV1 and GoAstV2, and the novel gout-associated GoAstVs were all clustered in GoAstV2. Further Bayesian inference analyses indicated a nucleotide substitution rate of 1.46 × 10-3 substitutions/site/year for avian astrovirus based on open reading frame 2 sequences, and the time to the most recent common ancestor of GoAstVs was estimated to be around 2011. This is the first report to confirm GoAstV can infect chickens while also providing an estimation of the evolutionary rates of Avastroviruses.

SUBMITTER: Li JY 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7858137 | BioStudies | 2021-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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