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Genetic analysis of a novel nidovirus from fathead minnows

April 1, 2013

A bacilliform virus was isolated from diseased fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Analysis of the complete genome coding for the polyprotein (pp1ab), spike (S), membrane (M) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins revealed that the virus was most like white bream virus (WBV), another bacilliform virus isolated from white bream (Blicca bjoerkna L.) and the type species of the genus Bafinivirus within the order Nidovirales. In addition to similar gene order and size, alignment of deduced amino acid sequences of the pp1ab, M, N and S proteins of the fathead minnow nidovirus (FHMNV) with those of WBV showed 46, 44, 39 and 15 % identities, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis using the conserved helicase domain of the replicase showed FHMNV was distinct from WBV, yet the closest relative identified to date. Thus, FHMNV appears to represent a second species in the genus Bafinivirus. A PCR assay was developed for the identification of future FHMNV-like isolates.