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J Gen Virol. 2009 May;90(Pt 5):1104-8. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.008599-0. Epub 2009 Mar 4.

Complete sequence of a duck astrovirus associated with fatal hepatitis in ducklings.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, People's Republic of China.


Duck astroviruses (DAstVs) are known to cause duck viral hepatitis; however, little is known regarding their molecular biology. Here, we report the complete sequence of a DAstV associated with a recent outbreak of fatal hepatitis in ducklings in China. Sequence analyses indicated that the genome of DAstV possessed a typical astrovirus organization and also exhibited two unique features. The polyadenylated genome comprised 7722 nt, which is the largest among astroviruses sequenced to date. The ORF2 of DAstV was not in the same reading frame as either ORF1a or ORF1b, which was distinct from all other astroviruses. Sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analyses revealed that DAstV was more closely related to turkey astrovirus (TAstV) type 2, TAstV-3 and TAstV/MN/01 (a possible new TAstV serotype) than to TAstV-1 or other astroviruses. These findings suggest that astroviruses may transmit across ducks and turkeys.

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