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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Molecular characterization of avian reovirus isolates in Tunisia

Ymene Hellal Kort1, Hager Bourogâa1, Latifa Gribaa1, Daniel Scott-Algara2 and Abdeljelil Ghram1*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Epidemiology and Veterinary Microbiology, Institut Pasteur de Tunis, University of Tunis - El Manar, 13 place Pasteur, BP 74, 1002, Tunis-Belvedere, Tunisia

2 Unité de Régulation des Infections Rétrovirales, Institut Pasteur, 27 Rue Dr. Roux, 75724, Paris, France

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Virology Journal 2013, 10:12  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-12

Published: 5 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Genotype analyses of avian reoviruses isolated from organ samples collected from chickens with suspicious clinical symptoms, between 1997–2008, was based on sequences for both σC and σB genes and aligned with those published in the Genbank, making it possible to carry out studies of molecular classification and relationships.

Methods

The full length of the known variable protein σC and part of the σB encoding genes, were amplified with RT-PCR, using conserved primers. PCR products were sequenced and the sequences were analyzed and aligned with avian reovirus sequences from the Genbank database.

Results

The sequences of σC-encoding genes of all the isolated strains indicated their close relationship with the American, Chinese and Indian strains. Taking the American strain S1133 as a reference, the two Tunisian isolates 97.1 and 97.2 showed some nucleotide substitutions. For isolate 97.1, the substitution was silent whereas for strain 97.2 the mutation was at the first position of the corresponding codon and induced the substitution of the amino acid encoded. For the σB-encoding gene, the sequences of the Tunisian strains showed mutations at positions two or three of the corresponding codons, inducing substitutions of amino acids at these positions. The phylogenic trees based on σC and σB encoding genes indicated closer relationship between Tunisian, American and Taiwanese isolates of genotype I.

Conclusion

Our study describes the genotype of avian reoviruses that are not yet well characterized genetically. The characterization and classification of these viruses might be significant for understanding the epidemiology of malabsorption syndrome and viral arthritis, and improving our knowledge of the genotype of strains circulating in Tunisian flocks. Furthermore, the study of their variable pathogenicity could be extremely important in the choice of the appropriate vaccine strain to control disease.

Keywords:
Avian reoviruses; Malabsorption syndrome; Arthritis; σC gene; σB gene; Genotyping