Avian leukosis virus (ALV) caused tremendous economic losses to poultry industry all over the world, especially in China. One natural recombinant ALV strain, designated as HB2015032, was isolated from indigenous chickens with neoplastic diseases in Hubei, China. The complete proviral genome of HB2015032 is 7703 bp in length. Sequence analysis showed that the Env of HB2015032 exhibited 99.3% similarity with that of a ALV subgroup K (ALV-K) isolate JS11C1 at amino acid level. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that both gp85 and gp37 of HB2015032 were clustered in the same branch with JS11C1 and other ALV-K strains isolated from Chinese indigenous chickens in recent years. However, the pol gene, the 3' untranslated region (3' UTR), and the 3' long terminal repeat (3' LTR) of HB2015032 were more closely related to ALV-J prototype HPRS-103, and clustered in the same branch with ALV-J strains. Furthermore, the pol gene of HB2015032 contained a premature stop codon that resulted in a truncated Pol protein with 22 amino acid residues missing, which was a unique feature of the pol gene of ALV-J. 3'UTR of HB2015032 containing entire DR1, E element and U3. E element of HB2015032 contained one base deletion, which resulted in a c-Ets-1 binding site. In addition, U3 region of HB2015032 contains most of the transcription regulatory elements of ALV-J, including two CAAT boxes, Y boxes, CArG boxes, PRE boxes, NFAP-1 boxes, and one TATA box. These results suggest that isolate HB2015032 was a novel recombinant ALV-K containing the ALV-K env gene and the ALV-J backbone and exhibiting high pathogenicity.
Keywords: ALV-J; ALV-K; Avian leukosis virus; Recombinant.