Genetically highly divergent picornavirus (Newt/2013/HUN, KP770140) was detected using viral metagenomics in faecal samples of free-living smooth newts (Lissotriton vulgaris). Newt picornavirus was identified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in six (25%) of the 24 samples originating from individuals caught in two out of the six investigated natural ponds in Hungary. The first picornavirus in amphibians expands the host range of members of the Picornaviridae, and opens a new research field in picornavirus evolution in lower vertebrates. Newt picornavirus represents a novel species in a novel genus within the family Picornaviridae, provisionally named genus Ampivirus (amphibian picornavirus).
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