Molecular characterization of a new species in the genus Alphacoronavirus associated with mink epizootic catarrhal gastroenteritis.
ABSTRACT A coronavirus (CoV) previously shown to be associated with catarrhal gastroenteritis in mink (Mustela vison) was identified by electron microscopy in mink faeces from two fur farms in Wisconsin and Minnesota in 1998. A pan-coronavirus and a genus-specific RT-PCR assay were used initially to demonstrate that the newly discovered mink CoVs (MCoVs) were members of the genus Alphacoronavirus. Subsequently, using a random RT-PCR approach, full-genomic sequences were generated that further confirmed that, phylogenetically, the MCoVs belonged to the genus Alphacoronavirus, with closest relatedness to the recently identified but only partially sequenced (fragments of the polymerase, and full-length spike, 3c, envelope, nucleoprotein, membrane, 3x and 7b genes) ferret enteric coronavirus (FRECV) and ferret systemic coronavirus (FRSCV). The molecular data presented in this study provide the first genetic evidence for a new coronavirus associated with epizootic catarrhal gastroenteritis outbreaks in mink and demonstrate that MCoVs possess high genomic variability and relatively low overall nucleotide sequence identities (91.7 %) between contemporary strains. Additionally, the new MCoVs appeared to be phylogenetically distant from human (229E and NL63) and other alphacoronaviruses and did not belong to the species Alphacoronavirus 1. It is proposed that, together with the partially sequenced FRECV and FRSCV, they comprise a new species within the genus Alphacoronavirus.
Article: A comparative sequence analysis to revise the current taxonomy of the family Coronaviridae.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The Coronaviridae family, comprising the Coronavirus and Torovirus genera, is part of the Nidovirales order that also includes two other families, Arteriviridae and Roniviridae. Based on genetic and serological relationships, groups 1, 2 and 3 were previously recognized in the Coronavirus genus. In this report we present results of comparative sequence analysis of the spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M), and nucleoprotein (N) structural proteins, and the two most conserved replicase domains, putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and RNA helicase (HEL), aimed at a revision of the Coronaviridae taxonomy. The results of pairwise comparisons involving structural and replicase proteins of the Coronavirus genus were consistent and produced percentages of sequence identities that were distributed in discontinuous clusters. Inter-group pairwise scores formed a single cluster in the lowest percentile. No homologs of the N and E proteins have been found outside coronaviruses, and the only (very) distant homologs of S and M proteins were identified in toroviruses. Intragroup sequence conservation was higher, although for some pairs, especially those from the most diverse group 1, scores were close or even overlapped with those from the intergroup comparisons. Phylogenetic analysis of six proteins using a neighbor-joining algorithm confirmed three coronavirus groups. Comparative sequence analysis of RdRp and HEL domains were extended to include arterivirus and ronivirus homologs. The pairwise scores between sequences of the genera Coronavirus and Torovirus (22-25% and 21-25%) were found to be very close to or overlapped with the value ranges (12 to 22% and 17 to 25%) obtained for interfamily pairwise comparisons, but were much smaller than values derived from pairwise comparisons within the Coronavirus genus (63-71% and 59-67%). Phylogenetic analysis confirmed toroviruses and coronaviruses to be separated by a large distance that is comparable to those between established nidovirus families. Based on comparison of these scores with those derived from analysis of separate ranks of several multi-genera virus families, like the Picornaviridae, a revision of the Coronaviridae taxonomy is proposed. We suggest the Coronavirus and Torovirus genera to be re-defined as two subfamilies within the Coronavirdae or two families within Nidovirales, and the current three informal coronavirus groups to be converted into three genera within the Coronaviridae.Archives of Virology 12/2003; 148(11):2207-35. · 2.11 Impact Factor
Article: Deletions in the 7a ORF of feline coronavirus associated with an epidemic of feline infectious peritonitis[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A population of Persian cats experienced an epidemic of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) over 2 years. Twelve cases of FIP occurred in litters born during this period. Cats contracting FIP were all genetically related through the sire. Feline coronavirus (FCoV) genomic RNA was detected consistently in this study in biologic samples from adult cats, kittens suffering from FIP, and their siblings. Analysis of viral 7a/7b open reading frame (ORFs) were analyzed and revealed two distinct virus variants circulating in the population, one with an intact 7a ORF and one with two major deletions in the 7a ORF. The 7b ORFs were intact and similar among all virus isolates, although point mutations resulting in amino acid changes were present. The sire was determined to be infected with both variants, and was persistently virus-infected. We speculate the deletion variant arose from the non-deletion variant during viral replication in this population, possibly in the sire.Veterinary Microbiology 09/2001; · 3.33 Impact Factor
Article: Molecular evolution analysis and geographic investigation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-like virus in palm civets at an animal market and on farms.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Massive numbers of palm civets were culled to remove sources for the reemergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Guangdong Province, China, in January 2004, following SARS coronavirus detection in market animals. The virus was identified in all 91 palm civets and 15 raccoon dogs of animal market origin sampled prior to culling, but not in 1,107 palm civets later sampled at 25 farms, spread over 12 provinces, which were claimed to be the source of traded animals. Twenty-seven novel signature variation residues (SNVs) were identified on the spike gene and were analyzed for their phylogenetic relationships, based on 17 sequences obtained from animals in our study and from other published studies. Analysis indicated that the virus in palm civets at the live-animal market had evolved to infect humans. The evolutionary starting point was a prototype group consisting of three viral sequences of animal origin. Initially, seven SNV sites caused six amino acid changes, at positions 147, 228, 240, 479, 821, and 1080 of the spike protein, to generate low-pathogenicity viruses. One of these was linked to the first SARS patient in the 2003-2004 period. A further 14 SNVs caused 11 amino acid residue changes, at positions 360, 462, 472, 480, 487, 609, 613, 665, 743, 765, and 1163. The resulting high-pathogenicity groups were responsible for infections during the so-called early-phase epidemic of 2003. Finally, the remaining six SNVs caused four amino acid changes, at positions 227, 244, 344, and 778, which resulted in the group of viruses responsible for the global epidemic.Journal of Virology 10/2005; 79(18):11892-900. · 5.40 Impact Factor