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Open AccessArticle

Novel Circoviruses Detected in Feces of Sonoran Felids

1
Genetics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
2
The Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, Center for Evolution and Medicine, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-5001, USA
3
School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
4
Primero Conservation, Box 16106, Portal, AZ 85632, USA
5
U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
6
School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
7
Structural Biology Research Unit, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Town, Observatory, Cape Town 7701, South Africa
8
The BIO5 Institute, Department of Immunobiology, Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, UA Cancer Center, University of Arizona Tucson, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2020, 12(9), 1027; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12091027
Received: 22 August 2020 / Revised: 8 September 2020 / Accepted: 10 September 2020 / Published: 15 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Genomics: Elucidating Virology in a Metagenomic World)
Sonoran felids are threatened by drought and habitat fragmentation. Vector range expansion and anthropogenic factors such as habitat encroachment and climate change are altering viral evolutionary dynamics and exposure. However, little is known about the diversity of viruses present in these populations. Small felid populations with lower genetic diversity are likely to be most threatened with extinction by emerging diseases, as with other selective pressures, due to having less adaptive potential. We used a metagenomic approach to identify novel circoviruses, which may have a negative impact on the population viability, from confirmed bobcat (Lynx rufus) and puma (Puma concolor) scats collected in Sonora, Mexico. Given some circoviruses are known to cause disease in their hosts, such as porcine and avian circoviruses, we took a non-invasive approach using scat to identify circoviruses in free-roaming bobcats and puma. Three circovirus genomes were determined, and, based on the current species demarcation, they represent two novel species. Phylogenetic analyses reveal that one circovirus species is more closely related to rodent associated circoviruses and the other to bat associated circoviruses, sharing highest genome-wide pairwise identity of approximately 70% and 63%, respectively. At this time, it is unknown whether these scat-derived circoviruses infect felids, their prey, or another organism that might have had contact with the scat in the environment. Further studies should be conducted to elucidate the host of these viruses and assess health impacts in felids. View Full-Text
Keywords: Circoviridae; circoviruses; bobcat; Lynx rufus; Sonoran Desert; Sonoran felid associated (Sonfela) circoviruses Circoviridae; circoviruses; bobcat; Lynx rufus; Sonoran Desert; Sonoran felid associated (Sonfela) circoviruses
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MDPI and ACS Style

Payne, N.; Kraberger, S.; Fontenele, R.S; Schmidlin, K.; Bergeman, M.H; Cassaigne, I.; Culver, M.; Varsani, A.; Van Doorslaer, K. Novel Circoviruses Detected in Feces of Sonoran Felids. Viruses 2020, 12, 1027. https://doi.org/10.3390/v12091027

AMA Style

Payne N, Kraberger S, Fontenele RS, Schmidlin K, Bergeman MH, Cassaigne I, Culver M, Varsani A, Van Doorslaer K. Novel Circoviruses Detected in Feces of Sonoran Felids. Viruses. 2020; 12(9):1027. https://doi.org/10.3390/v12091027

Chicago/Turabian Style

Payne, Natalie; Kraberger, Simona; Fontenele, Rafaela S; Schmidlin, Kara; Bergeman, Melissa H; Cassaigne, Ivonne; Culver, Melanie; Varsani, Arvind; Van Doorslaer, Koenraad. 2020. "Novel Circoviruses Detected in Feces of Sonoran Felids" Viruses 12, no. 9: 1027. https://doi.org/10.3390/v12091027

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