Main content area

Detection and genetic characterization of kobuvirus in cats: The first molecular evidence from Northeast China

Niu, Ting-Jiang, Yi, Shuai-Shu, Wang, Xin, Wang, Lei-Hua, Guo, Bing-Yan, Zhao, Li-Yan, Zhang, Shuang, Dong, Hao, Wang, Kai, Hu, Xue-Gui
Infection, genetics, and evolution 2019 v.68 pp. 58-67
diarrhea, cats, amino acid substitution, phylogeny, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, Feline parvovirus, feces, Kobuvirus, amino acids, genes, polyproteins, genetic analysis, prototypes, genetic variation, viruses, mixed infection, Bocaparvovirus, South Korea, China
Feline kobuvirus (FeKoV), a novel picornavirus of the genus kobuvirus, was initially identified in the feces of cats with diarrhea in South Korea in 2013. To date, there is only one report of the circulation of kobuvirus in cats in southern China. To investigate the presence and genetic variability of FeKoV in northeast China, 197 fecal samples were collected from 105 cats with obvious diarrhea and 92 asymptomatic cats in Shenyang, Jinzhou, Changchun, Jilin and Harbin regions, Northeast China, and viruses were detected by RT-PCR with universal primers targeting all kobuviruses. Kobuvirus was identified in 28 fecal samples with an overall prevalence of 14.2% (28/197) of which 20 samples were co-infected with feline parvovirus (FPV) and/or feline bocavirus (FBoV). Diarrhoeic cats had a higher kobuvirus prevalence (19.1%, 20/105) than asymptomatic cats (8.7%, 8/92). By genetic analysis based on partial 3D gene, all kobuvirus-positive samples were more closely related to previous FeKoV strains with high identities of 90.5%–97.8% and 96.6%–100% at the nucleotide and amino acid levels. Additionally, phylogenetic analysis based on the complete VP1 gene indicated that all FeKoV strains identified in this study were placed into a cluster, which separated from other reference strains previously reported, and three identical amino acid substitutions were present at the C-terminal of the VP1 protein for these FeKoV strains. Furthermore, two complete FeKoV polyprotein genomes were successfully obtained from two positive samples and designated 16JZ0605 and 17CC0811, respectively. The two strains shared 92.9%–94.9% nucleotide identities and 96.8%–98.4% amino acid identities to FeKoV prototype strains. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that FeKoVs were clustered according to their geographical regions, albeit with limited sequences support. This study provides the first molecular evidence that FeKoV circulates in cats in northeast China, and these FeKoVs exhibit genetic diversity and unique evolutionary trend.