Metagenomic and Molecular Detection of Novel Fecal Viruses in Free-Ranging Agile Wallabies

Okoh, God'spower Richard, Ariel, Ellen, Whitmore, David, and Horwood, Paul F. (2023) Metagenomic and Molecular Detection of Novel Fecal Viruses in Free-Ranging Agile Wallabies. EcoHealth, 20. pp. 427-440.

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The agile wallaby (Notamacropus agilis) is one of the most abundant marsupial species in northern Queensland and a competent host for the zoonotic Ross River virus. Despite their increased proximity and interactions with humans, little is known about the viruses carried by these animals, and whether any are of conservation or zoonotic importance. Metagenomics and molecular techniques were used in a complementary manner to identify and characterize novel viruses in the fecal samples of free-ranging agile wallabies. We detected a variety of novel marsupial-related viral species including agile wallaby atadenovirus 1, agile wallaby chaphamaparvovirus 1–2, agile wallaby polyomavirus 1–2, agile wallaby associated picobirnavirus 1–9, and a known macropod gammaherpesvirus 3. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that most of these novel viruses would have co-evolved with their hosts (agile wallabies). Additionally, non-marsupial viruses that infect bacteria (phages), plants, insects, and other eukaryotes were identified. This study highlighted the utility of non-invasive sampling as well as the integration of broad-based molecular assays (consensus PCR and next generation sequencing) for monitoring the emergence of potential pathogenic viruses in wildlife species. Furthermore, the novel marsupial viruses identified in this study will enrich the diversity of knowledge about marsupial viruses, and may be useful for developing diagnostics and vaccines.

Item ID: 81524
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1612-9210
Keywords: Adenoviruses, Feces, Free-ranging agile wallaby, Herpesvirus, Metagenomics, Parvoviruses, PCR, Picobirnaviruses, Polyomaviruses, Viruses
Copyright Information: © 2023 EcoHealth Alliance
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2024 23:49
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3207 Medical microbiology > 320705 Medical virology @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3102 Bioinformatics and computational biology > 310204 Genomics and transcriptomics @ 40%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420202 Disease surveillance @ 40%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200404 Disease distribution and transmission (incl. surveillance and response) @ 100%
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