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Research article2003Peer reviewedOpen access

Reverse transcription-PCR assays for detection of bovine enteric caliciviruses (BEC) and analysis of the genetic relationships among BEC and human caliciviruses

Smiley JR, Hoet AE, Traven M, Tsunemitsu H, Saif LJ


Two genetically distinct bovine enteric caliciviruses (BECs) have been identified: the norovirus (NLV) Jena and Newbury Agent-2 (NA-2) BECs, which are genetically related to human noroviruses, and the Nebraska (NB) BECs, which is related to sapoviruses and lagoviruses but may also represent a new calicivirus genus. The prevalence of these two BEC genotypes in cattle is unknown. Although reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) primers for human NLV recognize NLV-BECs, the genetic relationships between NLV from humans and the NLV-BECs commonly circulating in cattle is undefined. In the present study, veal calf fecal samples were assayed for enteric caliciviruses by using six RT-PCR primer sets designed for the detection of human NLVs or BECs. Caliciviruses genetically related to the NLV-BEC Jena and NA-2 strains or to the recently characterized NB BEC strain were identified in three of four and four of four sampled veal herds, respectively. Extended 3'-terminal genome sequences of two NLV-BECs, designated CV95-OH and CV186-OH, encoding the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp; open reading frame 1 [ORF-1]), VP1 (ORF-2), and VP2 (ORF-3) genes were determined. Phylogenetic and sequence identity analyses of each genome region demonstrated these viruses to be most closely related to the NLV-BEC Jena and NA-2 strains. In initial testing, the human P289-P290 (P289/290) primer set was found to be the most sensitive for calicivirus detection. However, its failure to identify all positive fecal pools (as determined by other assays) led us to design two new primer sets, CBECU-F/R and NBU-F/R, for the sensitive and specific detection of NLV-BEC (NLV-BEC Jena and NA-2) and BEC-NB-like viruses, respectively. The RT-PCR assays with the new primers were compared against other primer sets, including P289/290. Composite results of the tests completed by using the new assays identified 72% (54 of 75) of veal calf fecal samples as positive, with 21 of 21 sequenced reaction products specific for the target RdRp gene. The same design strategy used for the new BEC assays may also be applicable to the design of similar assays for the detection of human caliciviruses (HuCVs). Our data support the genetic relationship between NLV-BECs and NLV-HuCVs but with the NLV-BECs comprising two clusters within a third NLV genogroup

Published in

Journal of Clinical Microbiology
2003, Volume: 41, number: 7, pages: 3089-3099 Publisher: AMER SOC MICROBIOLOGY

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