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Viruses 2018, 10(5), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10050269

A Novel Hepadnavirus Identified in an Immunocompromised Domestic Cat in Australia

1
Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
2
School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Sydney Medical School, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
3
Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
4
School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Roseworthy, SA 5371, Australia
5
Vets@Acacia Gardens, Quakers Hill, NSW 2006, Australia
The authors contributed equally to this article.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Viruses)
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Abstract

High-throughput transcriptome sequencing allows for the unbiased detection of viruses in host tissues. The application of this technique to immunosuppressed animals facilitates the detection of viruses that might otherwise be excluded or contained in immunocompetent individuals. To identify potential viral pathogens infecting domestic cats we performed high-throughput transcriptome sequencing of tissues from cats infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). A novel member of the Hepadnaviridae, tentatively named domestic cat hepadnavirus, was discovered in a lymphoma sample and its complete 3187 bp genome characterized. Phylogenetic analysis placed the domestic cat hepadnavirus as a divergent member of mammalian orthohepadnaviruses that exhibits no close relationship to any other virus. DNA extracted from whole blood from pet cats was positive for the novel hepadnavirus by PCR in 6 of 60 (10%) FIV-infected cats and 2 of 63 (3.2%) FIV-uninfected cats. The higher prevalence of hepadnavirus viraemia detected in FIV-infected cats mirrors that seen in human immunodeficiency virus-infected humans coinfected with hepatitis B virus. In summary, we report the first hepadnavirus infection in a carnivore and the first in a companion animal. The natural history, epidemiology and pathogenic potential of domestic cat hepadnavirus merits additional investigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: virus; hepadnavirus; Orthohepadnavirus; immuosuppression; hepatitis B; domestic cat; feline; carnivore; pathogen discovery virus; hepadnavirus; Orthohepadnavirus; immuosuppression; hepatitis B; domestic cat; feline; carnivore; pathogen discovery
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Aghazadeh, M.; Shi, M.; Barrs, V.R.; McLuckie, A.J.; Lindsay, S.A.; Jameson, B.; Hampson, B.; Holmes, E.C.; Beatty, J.A. A Novel Hepadnavirus Identified in an Immunocompromised Domestic Cat in Australia. Viruses 2018, 10, 269.

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