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Genetic, antigenic and pathogenic characterization of avian coronaviruses isolated from pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in China
Han, Z
Liwen, X
Ren, M
Sheng, J
Ma, T
Sun, J
Zhao, Y
Liu, S
Acceso Abierto
Two viruses were isolated in 2017 from commercial pheasants with severe clinical signs and mortality in Shandong and Anhui provinces, China, respectively. We examined the pathogenic effects of the viruses in chicken embryos and the size and morphology of the virus particles, performed phylogenetic analysis based on the S1 gene and complete genomic sequences, and examined the antibody responses against infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). The results suggested that the viruses I0623/17 and I0710/17 were avian coronaviruses and were identified as pheasant coronaviruses (PhCoV), with greatest similarity to IBV. Further investigations of the antigenicity, complete genome organization, substitutions in multiple genes, and viral pathogenicity, replication, and shedding in chickens and pheasants showed obvious differences between PhCoV and IBV in terms of antigenicity, and viral pathogenicity, replication, and shedding in chickens and pheasants. The close genetic relationship, but obvious differences between PhCoVs and IBVs suggested the IBVs could be the ancestors of PhCoVs, and that PhCoVs isolated from different outbreaks may have evolved independently from IBVs circulating in the specific region by adaption in pheasants. This hypothesis was supported by analysis of the S1 gene fragments of the two PhCoVs isolated in the current study, as well as PhCoVs isolated in the UK and selected IBV strains. Such analyses indicated different evolution patterns and different tissue tropisms between PhCoVs isolated in different outbreaks. Further studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis by studying the complete genomic sequences of PhCoVs from different outbreaks and the pathogenicity of IBVs in pheasants to compare and clarify the relationships between PhCoVs and IBVs.
Veterinary Microbiology
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