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Virology. 1999 Feb 1;254(1):1-5.

The bovine Newbury agent-2 is genetically more closely related to human SRSVs than to animal caliciviruses.

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The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, London, NW1 0TU, United Kingdom.


The hypothesis that the enteric bovine calici-like virus Newbury agent (NA-2) belongs to the family Caliciviridae was examined by genome sequence analysis. Use of solid-phase immune electron microscopy allowed samples with good levels of virus to be identified and amplification of the genome was achieved by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Examination of a 216-amino-acid sequence in the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene and a 116-amino-acid sequence in the capsid gene showed that NA-2 had the closest deduced amino acid identity (77 to 80% for the polymerase region and 67 to 73% for the capsid region) to the morphologically indistinguishable human SRSVs (small round structured viruses) of genogroup 1, which are classified as members of the Caliciviridae. It had a weak relationship (<34.5% deduced amino acid identity) in both the polymerase and the capsid regions to animal caliciviruses, all of which have classical morphology. This is the first genomic data from a nonhuman virus with SRSV morphology. It confirms the hypothesis that the bovine enteric calici-like virus NA-2 is a member of the family Caliciviridae and endorses the observation to date that viruses with SRSV morphology are genomically distinct.

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