We conducted a viral metagenomics study in diarrheic free-ranging wolves in Portugal, revealing for the first time the presence of reassortant picobirnaviruses. These viruses shared identical capsid segments together with diverse RNA-dependent RNA polymerase segments. Even though causality between these picobirnaviruses and diarrhea could not be established, the study nonetheless confirms for the first time that wolves are a potential reservoir for picobirnaviruses, which might play a role as enteric pathogens.
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We thank the ACHLI (Association for the Conservation of the Iberian Wolf Habitat) for funding wolf sampling, D. Castro (CTM/CIBIO) for genetic analysis of wolf scats, and D. Cadete, J. Bernardo and S. Pinto for conducting the scat survey. NCN was supported by the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation through Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT Vlaanderen). KCY was supported by the Interfaculty Council for Development Cooperation (IRO) from the KU Leuven. SR and RG were supported by ‘Fundacão para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT, Portugal) (SFRH/BD/12291/2003 and IF/00564/2012, respectively).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Wolf monitoring and sampling was approved by the “National Authority for Nature Conservation (ICNF)” in Portugal.
N. Conceição-Neto and J. R. Mesquita contributed equally to this work.
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Conceição-Neto, N., Mesquita, J.R., Zeller, M. et al. Reassortment among picobirnaviruses found in wolves. Arch Virol 161, 2859–2862 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-016-2987-4
- Enteric Pathogen
- Canine Distemper Virus
- Capsid Gene
- Reassortment Event
- Acute Watery Diarrhea