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Diversity of Astrovirus in Goats in Southwest China and Identification of Two Novel Caprine Astroviruses

Microbiol Spectr. 2022 Jul 7:e0121822. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.01218-22. Online ahead of print.


A total of 232 goat fecal samples (124 diarrheic and 108 nondiarrheic) collected from 12 farms in Southwest China were tested for astrovirus using RT-PCR. A total of 16.9% (21/124) of diarrheic and 20.4% (22/108) of nondiarrheic samples were astrovirus-positive, and no statistical difference was found in the detection rate between healthy and sick goats. Furthermore, 28 obtained complete ORF2 sequences could be classified into six genotypes according to the species classification criteria of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). It is worth noting that, in addition to four known caprine astrovirus genotypes (MAstV-33, MAstV-34, Caprine Astrovirus G5.1, and Caprine Astrovirus G3.1), MAstV-13 and MAstV-24 genotypes were identified in goats. Interestingly, five of 19 ORF2 sequences in the Caprine Astrovirus G3.1 genotype showed possible intragenotypic recombination events. Furthermore, nearly complete caprine astrovirus genomes of MAstV-13 and MAstV-24 genotypes were obtained. The genome of the SWUN/ECJK3/2021 strain shared the highest similarity (62.0% to 73.9%) with astrovirus in MAstV-13, and clustered in the so-called human-mink-ovine (HMO) clade, which contained the majority of the neurotropic astrovirus strains. Moreover, the SWUN/LJK2-2/2020 strain showed the highest similarity (69.7% to 78.6%) and the closest genetic relationship to the known porcine and bovine astroviruses in MAstV-24. In conclusion, this study confirmed six genotypes of astrovirus circulating among goats in Southwest China, including MAstV-13 and MAstV-24 genotypes. These findings enhance our knowledge of the prevalence and diversity of astroviruses. IMPORTANCE Caprine astrovirus is a newly emerging virus, and information regarding its prevalence and molecular characteristics remains limited. In this study, six genotypes of astrovirus, including MAstV-13 and MAstV-24, were identified in goats, adding two novel caprine astrovirus genotypes to the four previously known genotypes, thereby enriching the diversity of the caprine astrovirus. Moreover, genomes of MAstV-13 SWUN/ECJK3/2021 and MAstV-24 SWUN/LJK2-2/2020 strains were obtained from goats, which aids in the understanding of the infection spectrum and host range of the two genotypes. This study is the first to demonstrate the presence of neurotropic-like astrovirus (MAstV-13) in goats, which has significant implications for the diagnosis of neurological diseases in goats.

PMID:35862967 | DOI:10.1128/spectrum.01218-22

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