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Virol J. 2008 Dec 22;5:159. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-5-159.

Identification of a novel picornavirus related to cosaviruses in a child with acute diarrhea.

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Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO USA.


Diarrhea, the third leading infectious cause of death worldwide, causes approximately 2 million deaths a year. Approximately 40% of these cases are of unknown etiology. We previously developed a metagenomic strategy for identification of novel viruses from diarrhea samples. By applying mass sequencing to a stool sample collected in Melbourne, Australia from a child with acute diarrhea, one 395 bp sequence read was identified that possessed only limited identity to known picornaviruses. This initial fragment shared only 55% amino acid identity to its top BLAST hit, the VP3 protein of Theiler's-like virus, suggesting that a novel picornavirus might be present in this sample. By using a combination of mass sequencing, RT-PCR, 5' RACE and 3' RACE, 6562 bp of the viral genome was sequenced, which includes the entire putative polyprotein. The overall genomic organization of this virus was similar to known picornaviruses. Phylogenetic analysis of the polyprotein demonstrated that the virus was divergent from previously described picornaviruses and appears to belong to the newly proposed picornavirus genus, Cosavirus. Based on the analysis discussed here, we propose that this virus represents a new species in the Cosavirus genus, and it has tentatively been named Human Cosavirus E1 (HCoSV-E1).

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