Discovery of novel astrovirus and calicivirus identified in ruddy turnstones in Brazil

Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 3;9(1):5556. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-42110-3.


Birds are the natural reservoir of viruses with zoonotic potential, as well as contributing to the evolution, emergence, and dissemination of novel viruses. In this study, we applied a high-throughput screening approach to identify the diversity of viruses in 118 samples of birds captured between October 2006 to October 2010 in the North and Northeast regions of Brazil. We found nearly complete genomes of novel species of astrovirus and calicivirus in cloacal swabs of ruddy turnstones (Arenaria interpres) collected in Coroa do Avião islet, Pernambuco State. These viruses are positive-sense single-stranded RNA with a genome of ~7 to 8 kb, and were designated as Ruddy turnstone astrovirus (RtAstV) and Ruddy turnstone calicivirus (RTCV), respectively. Phylogenetic analysis showed that RtAstV and RTCV grouped in a monophyletic clade with viruses identified from poultry samples (i.e., chicken, goose, and turkey), including viruses associated with acute nephritis in chickens. Attempts of viral propagation in monkey and chicken cell lines for both viruses were unsuccessful. Also, we found genomes related with viral families that infect invertebrates and plants, suggesting that they might be ingested in the birds' diet. In sum, these findings shed new light on the diversity of viruses in migratory birds with the notable characterization of a novel astrovirus and calicivirus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Migration
  • Animals
  • Astroviridae / genetics*
  • Astroviridae / isolation & purification
  • Astroviridae Infections / veterinary
  • Bird Diseases / virology*
  • Brazil
  • Caliciviridae / genetics*
  • Caliciviridae / isolation & purification
  • Caliciviridae Infections / veterinary
  • Charadriiformes / virology*
  • Chickens / virology
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cloaca / virology
  • Genome, Viral
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Metagenome
  • Phylogeny
  • Vero Cells