Indexed on: 19 Jul '11Published on: 19 Jul '11Published in: Infection, Genetics and Evolution
Animal kobuviruses have been described in pigs, cattle, sheep and bats in countries in Asia and Europe. The virus can be detected in fecal and serum samples of infected animals with or without diarrhea, but most of the clinical as well as epidemiological features of kobuvirus infection are still unknown. This study reports the first detection of kobuvirus in farm animals from Brazil and the Netherlands and the molecular analysis of the detected strains. In Brazil, 53% (61/115) of the pigs (suckling, weaned and sows) were shedding porcine kobuvirus in feces, while in the Netherlands 16.7% (3/18) of the tested weaned pigs were infected. Kobuviruses detected in fecal samples of pigs in Brazil showed association (p=0.0002) with diarrhea. In pig serum, kobuvirus was detected at different ages (3, 21, 36, 60, 75, and 180days), with an overall rate of 76.7% (23/30). The sequencing of amplicons detected in serum of pigs of different ages suggested reinfection and no persistent infection. Kobuvirus was also detected in sheep and cattle feces from Brazil and the Netherlands, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses of Brazilian and Dutch kobuviruses from pig, cattle and sheep revealed genetic variability, particularly in one strain detected in sheep feces, which was more closely related to human Aichi virus. The molecular and phylogenetic analyses performed with other published kobuvirus strains and the strains presented in this study, showed that, in most of the cases, kobuvirus seems to group according to host species, but not to geographical region of origin. The data presented in this study contribute to the comprehension of kobuvirus epidemiology and also to the molecular identification of kobuvirus strains circulating worldwide.