Evidence of a Possible Viral Host Switch Event in an Avipoxvirus Isolated from an Endangered Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi)

Sarker, Subir, Bowden, Timothy R., and Boyle, David B. (2022) Evidence of a Possible Viral Host Switch Event in an Avipoxvirus Isolated from an Endangered Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi). Viruses, 14 (2). 302.

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Avipoxviruses have been characterized from many avian species. Two recent studies have reported avipoxvirus-like viruses with varying pathogenicity in reptiles. Avipoxviruses are considered to be restricted to avian hosts. However, reports of avipoxvirus-like viruses from reptiles such as the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and crocodile tegu (Crocodilurus amazonicus) suggest that cross-species transmission, within avian species and beyond, may be possible. Here we report evidence for a possible host switching event with a fowlpox-like virus recovered from an endangered northern royal albatross (Diomodea sanfordi)—a species of Procellariiformes, unrelated to Galliformes, not previously known to have been infected with fowlpox-like viruses. Complete genome sequencing of this virus, tentatively designated albatrosspox virus 2 (ALPV2), contained many fowlpox virus-like genes, but also 63 unique genes that are not reported in any other poxvirus. The ALPV2 genome contained 296 predicted genes homologous to different avipoxviruses, 260 of which were homologous to an American strain of fowlpox virus (FWPV). Subsequent phylogenetic analyses indicate that ALPV2 likely originated from a fowlpox virus-like progenitor. These findings highlight the importance of host-switching events where viruses cross species barriers with the risk of disease in close and distantly related host populations.

Item ID: 79809
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1999-4915
Keywords: Avipoxvirus, Evolution, Host-switch, Northern royal albatross
Copyright Information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DE200100367
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2023 02:32
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310509 Genomics @ 50%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3009 Veterinary sciences > 300914 Veterinary virology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280101 Expanding knowledge in the agricultural, food and veterinary sciences @ 50%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 50%
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