Molecular characterization of a canine respiratory coronavirus strain detected in Italy.
ABSTRACT Coronaviruses (CoVs) are positive-stranded, non-segmented RNA viruses generally responsible for the emergence of respiratory and enteric disease in humans, companion animals and livestock. Their aptitude to evolve by genetic recombination and/or point mutation is recognized, thus giving rise to new viral genotypes and mutants with different tissues or host tropism. In particular, a probable origin from the strictly related bovine coronavirus (BCoV) or, alternatively, from a common ancestor has been suggested for some group 2a CoVs, including canine respiratory coronavirus (CRCoV). In this study, we report the sequence analysis of the viral RNA 3'-end of an Italian CRCoV, strain 240/05, together with the sequence comparison with extant bovine-like viruses including the sole CRCoV strain 4182 previously described. Interestingly, although the structural proteins show the same features of CRCoV 4182, the genomic region between the spike and the envelope protein genes of CRCoV 240/05 encodes for three distinct products, including the equivalent bovine 4.9 kDa non-structural protein and a truncated form of the 4.8 kDa protein, whereas CRCoV 4182 has a unique 8.8 kDa protein.