Detection and Full-Length Genome Characterization of Novel Canine Vesiviruses - Volume 21, Number 8—August 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Volume 21, Number 8—August 2015
Detection and Full-Length Genome Characterization of Novel Canine Vesiviruses
Members of the family Caliciviridae are small (30–35 nm in diameter), nonenveloped viruses with a single-stranded, positive-polarity RNA genome of 7.4–8.3 kb. The family consists of the genera Vesivirus, Lagovirus,Norovirus, Sapovirus, and Nebovirus as well as unassigned caliciviruses (1,2).
Vesiviruses were originally identified in 1932 in California, USA, in domestic swine with vesicular disease. Since then, vesiviruses have been described in several animal species and humans, and they have been associated with a variety of clinical signs and lesions, including abortion, hepatitis, respiratory disease, diarrhea, myocarditis, encephalitis, mucosal ulcerations, vesicular lesions, and hemorrhagic syndromes (3–5). Unlike other caliciviruses, vesiviruses appear to readily cross host species barriers, and the marine ecosystem is believed to constitute a large reservoir of vesiviruses for terrestrial animals (5).
Vesiviruses have occasionally been detected in dogs with diarrhea and, in some instances, in dogs with glossitis, balanitis, or vesicular vaginitis (6–9). However, with the exception of a canine calicivirus, strain 48 (9), the caliciviruses detected in dogs have been feline viruses (6,7). The prototype canine calicivirus (CaCV) strain 48 was identified in Japan in 1990; the virus was isolated from a 2-month-old pup with intermittent watery diarrhea (9). Strain 48, which is antigenically and genetically unrelated to feline caliciviruses, was tentatively proposed as a true CaCV in the Vesivirus genus (10). Antibodies to strain 48 have been detected in 57.0% of dogs in Japan (11) and 36.5% of dogs in South Korea (12), but no information is available regarding the circulation of analogous viruses in dogs elsewhere.
In 2003, a novel vesivirus (strain 2117) genetically similar to CaCV strain 48 was accidentally isolated as a contaminant in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell cultures by a pharmaceutical company in Germany (13). These cells are mostly used by biotech companies for the production of recombinant drugs; possible sources of contamination included reagents used for cell cultivation, such as porcine-derived trypsin or fetal bovine serum.
The limited information available does not clarify whether vesiviruses play a role as enteric pathogens in dogs. Considering the ability of vesiviruses to cross the host species barriers (5) and the close social interactions between humans and dogs, it is essential to determine whether dogs harbor viruses with a zoonotic potential. To further investigate the molecular epidemiology of vesiviruses, we screened fecal specimens from asymptomatic dogs and from dogs with diarrhea in Italy.
Dr. Martella is an associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University Aldo Moro. His research involves diagnosis, epidemiology, and characterization of enteric viruses, including rotaviruses, astroviruses, and caliciviruses, in animals and humans.
This work was supported by the following grants: Studio sui vesivirus nei cani–Fondi Ateneo 2010; Calicivirus nei carnivori e nell'uomo: caratterizzazione molecolare, epidemiologia, implicazioni zoonosiche–PRIN 2008; and MicroMap (PON01_02589). K.B. was supported by the Momentum program awarded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
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Suggested citation for this article: Martella V, Pinto P, Lorusso E, Di Martino B, Wang Q, Larocca V, et al. Detection and full-length genome characterization of novel canine vesiviruses. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Aug [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2108.140900