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Virology. 2004 Sep 1;326(2):231-9.

A chimeric bovine enteric calicivirus: evidence for genomic recombination in genogroup III of the Norovirus genus of the Caliciviridae.

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Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases, The Royal Veterinary College, Camden, London NW1 0TU, UK.


The Norovirus genus of the Caliciviridae encompasses viruses that cause outbreaks of gastroenteritis in human and viruses that have been associated with diarrhea in cattle. The two bovine noroviruses, Bo/Newbury2/76/UK and Bo/Jena/80/DE, represent two distinct genetic clusters in the newly described genogroup III. In the present study, Jena-like polymerase sequences were identified for the first time in the UK, but one of these, Bo/Thirsk10/00/UK, was a chimeric virus. Bo/Thirsk10/00/UK had a Jena-like polymerase gene but Newbury2-like capsid and ORF3 genes by comparison of their genome organization, nucleotide, and amino acid identities and phylogenetic analyses. The present study is one of few studies to clearly demonstrate the existence of chimeric genomes in the Norovirus genus and the first, to our knowledge, to identify a chimeric genome in genogroup III. It provides additional support that genomic recombination is part of the natural evolution of noroviruses and is relevant to the diagnosis and immunological control of norovirus diarrhea outbreaks.

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