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Virus Res. 2008 Mar;132(1-2):208-12. Epub 2007 Dec 20.

Detection of a novel circovirus in mute swans (Cygnus olor) by using nested broad-spectrum PCR.

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Institute for Virology, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 29, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany.


Circoviruses are the causative agents of acute and chronic diseases in several animal species. Clinical symptoms of circovirus infections range from depression and diarrhoea to immunosuppression and feather disorders in birds. Eleven different members of the genus Circovirus are known so far, which infect pigs and birds in a species-specific manner. Here, a nested PCR was developed for the detection of a broad range of different circoviruses in clinical samples. Using this assay, a novel circovirus was detected in mute swans (Cygnus olor) found dead in Germany in 2006. Sequence analysis of the swan circovirus (SwCV) genome, amplified by multiply primed rolling-circle amplification and PCR, indicates that SwCV is a distinct virus most closely related to the goose circovirus (73.2% genome sequence similarity). Sequence variations between SwCV genomes derived from two different individuals were high (15.5% divergence) and mainly confined to the capsid protein-encoding region. By PCR testing of 32 samples derived from swans found dead in two different regions of Germany, detection rates of 20.0 and 77.3% were determined, thus indicating a high incidence of SwCV infection. The clinical significance of SwCV infection, however, needs to be investigated further.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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