Objectives: This study was carried out in order to evaluate the efficacy of the recently developed picobirnavirus (PBV) sets of primers and to establish the phylogenetic relationships of Argentine strains with PBV strains isolated in China and the USA.
Methods: Thirteen fecal specimens tested as positive for PBV by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis were analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assays using primers target to the genomic segments 2 of PBV strains isolated in China and the USA. The amplicons were sequenced and analyzed.
Results: Primers derived from the China strain produced amplicons in only 4 of the 13 specimens (30.76%). No sample was revealed as positive with the primers derived from the US strain. DNA sequencing of polymerase chain reaction products differed in nucleic acid and amino acid sequences by 13.9-42.28% and 18.1-51.1%, respectively. Despite this strain diversity, three domains of conserved nucleotide sequences as well as the amino acid motif D-S-D typical of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene of double-strand RNA viruses were identified. Comparatively, these conserved regions were also identified in homologous PBV strains from the USA and China. Phylogenetic analysis showed no time or geographic clustering.
Conclusions: These findings provide evidence that PBV may represent an emerging heterogeneous group of viruses.
Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel