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Open AccessArticle

Presence of a Novel Subtype of Bovine Hepacivirus in China and Expanded Classification of Bovine Hepacivirus Strains Worldwide into 7 Subtypes

by 1,2,3, 1,2,3, 1,2,3 and 1,2,3,*
College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Prevention and Control for Severe Clinical Animal Diseases, Guangzhou 510630, China
Guangdong Technological Engineering Research Center for Pet, Guangzhou 510630, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(9), 843;
Received: 8 August 2019 / Revised: 2 September 2019 / Accepted: 10 September 2019 / Published: 11 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Viruses: Surveillance, Prevention, Evolution and Control)
The newest member of the Hepacivirus genus, bovine hepacivirus (BovHepV), was first identified in cattle in 2015 and is a novel hepacivirus C virus (HCV)-like virus. This virus has been detected in five countries so far and is classified into four subtypes. Bovine serum is commonly used for cell cultures and is considered the major source of viral contamination of pharmaceutical products. In this study, bovine serum samples were collected from seven countries located in Asia, America, Oceania, and Europe and were tested for BovHepV RNA using nested PCR, in order to: (i) obtain more knowledge on the geographical distribution and subtypes of BovHepV; and (ii) detect the potential contamination of BovHepV in commercial bovine serum samples used for cell culture propagation. The results demonstrated that bovine serum samples from individual donor cattle in China contained BovHepV RNA. After PCR, sequencing, and assembly, the genomes of the Chinese BovHepV strains were obtained. Genetic analysis of the polyprotein gene revealed a protein identity of <77% and a nucleotide identity of <85% between the Chinese BovHepV strains and all other previously reported BovHepV strains. Using cut-off values for determination of HCV genotypes and subtypes, BovHepV strains worldwide were classified into one unique genotype and seven subtypes. The BovHepV strains identified in the present study were classified into a novel subtype, which was provisionally designated subtype G. The genetic relationships among the different BovHepV subtypes were further confirmed through phylogenetic analysis. The present study provides critical insights into BovHepV’s geographical distribution and genetic variability. View Full-Text
Keywords: bovine hepacivirus; cattle; subtype; commercial bovine serum; China bovine hepacivirus; cattle; subtype; commercial bovine serum; China
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Lu, G.; Ou, J.; Zhao, J.; Li, S. Presence of a Novel Subtype of Bovine Hepacivirus in China and Expanded Classification of Bovine Hepacivirus Strains Worldwide into 7 Subtypes. Viruses 2019, 11, 843.

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