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Virus Res. 2009 Jul;143(1):134-6. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2009.03.006. Epub 2009 Mar 21.

Molecular characterization of picobirnaviruses from new hosts.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Biology, CP 6109, State University of Campinas - UNICAMP, Monteiro Lobato, 13083-970, Campinas, SP, Brazil.


Picobirnaviruses (PBVs) have recently been classified into the Picobirnaviridae family. They are small, non-enveloped viruses with bisegmented, double-stranded (ds) RNA genomes. Although they are found in the feces of a broad range of hosts, information regarding their genomes is limited to viruses detected from humans, rabbits, and porcine. Identification of PBVs has been done using PAGE and reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR). In this study, we present a phylogenetic analysis of PBVs detected in the feces of dogs, snakes, and rats. In addition, we compare these strains to those from human and porcine hosts. To do so, 487 fecal specimens from dogs, snakes and rats were analyzed by PAGE. The positive specimens for PBV were tested by RT-PCR using primers for genogroup I of the PBVs. From the 11 genogroup I PBV samples, at least one from each host was sequenced and submitted for phylogenetic analysis. All of the sequences showed high homology with the human and porcine genogroup I PBV sequences. In this study we report the first detection of PBVs in snakes (8.5%). We also report a phylogenetic analysis that goes beyond humans and pigs to include dogs, rats, and snakes. However, more hosts must be included in the analysis so that we may reach better conclusions regarding the spread of these viruses.

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