Title: Molecular and phylogenetic analysis of a novel turkey-origin picobirnavirus Authors
Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 30, 2013
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: A new molecular diagnostic assay for turkey-origin picobirnavirus (PBV), an enteric poultry virus, is described. This virus was discovered in our laboratory using state of the art nucleic acid sequencing protocols and bioinformatic analysis. Our novel molecular diagnostic assay for PBV has allowed an initial analysis of this virus and has allowed us to identify this virus in archived poultry samples housed at our facility. This is the first description of this virus, and our molecular assay will allow a future detailed geographical study of its prevalence in the field.
Technical Abstract: A metagenomic analysis of the turkey gut ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus community in our laboratory has identified novel enteric RNA viruses that may play roles in the poultry enteric diseases or in performance problems noted in the field. As part of the molecular characterization of these novel enteric viruses, a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) based diagnostic assay was developed targeting a novel turkey-origin picobirnavirus (PBV) initially identified in a pooled intestinal sample from turkey poults in North Carolina, United States of America. Little detailed molecular information exists regarding the family Picobirnaviridae, and the picobirnaviruses are almost completely un-described in avian species. This diagnostic assay targets the turkey picobirnavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene and produces an 1135 base pair amplicon. This RT-PCR test was validated using in vitro transcribed RNA and was tested using archived enteric samples collected from turkey flocks in the southeastern United States. Further, a phylogenetic analysis suggests the turkey PBV is unique since it does not group closely with the recognized PBV genogroups circulating in mammalian hosts.