This study reports the metagenomic detection and complete genome characterization of a novel turkey picornavirus from faecal samples of healthy (1/3) and affected (6/8) commercial turkeys with enteric and/or stunting syndrome in Hungary. The virus was detected at seven of the eight farms examined. The turkey/M176-TuASV/2011/HUN genome (KC465954) was genetically different from the currently known picornaviruses of turkey origin (megriviruses and galliviruses), and showed distant phylogenetic relationship and common genomic features (e.g. uncleaved VP0 and three predicted and unrelated 2A polypeptides) to duck hepatitis A virus (DHAV) of the genus Avihepatovirus. The complete genome analysis revealed multiple distinct genome features like the presence of two in-tandem aphthovirus 2A-like sequence repeats with DxExNPG/P 'ribosomeskipping' sites (76 %, 23/30 amino acids identical), with the first aphthovirus 2A-like sequence being located at the end of the VP1 capsid protein (VP1/2A1 'ribosome-skipping' site). The phylogenetic analyses, low sequence identity (33, 32 and 36% amino acid identity in P1, P2 and P3 regions) to DHAV, and the type II-like internal ribosome entry site suggests that this turkey picornavirus is related to, but distinct from the genus Avihepatovirus and it could be the founding member of a novel Avihepatovirus sister-clade genus. This is the third, taxonomically highly distinct picornavirus clade identified from turkeys exhibiting varied symptoms.
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