Astroviruses (AstVs) have been identified in the stools of calves with enteritis and in the brain tissues of bovines with encephalitis but their pathogenic role has not been clarified. In this study, we report the detection and characterization of bovine and water buffalo AstV strains identified in young bovine and buffalo calves with enteritis in Italy between 2012 and 2015. By negative staining transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observation, AstV-like particles were identified in the stools of the animals and AstV RNA was confirmed molecularly. The sequence (~3.2-kb) at the 3′ end of the genome was determined for two bovine and two buffalo AstVs. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis on the partial ORF1b and full-length ORF2 revealed a marked genetic diversity although the viruses were distantly related to other AstV identified from ruminants. Gathering sequence information on ruminant AstVs is important to understand the extent of inter-species circulation and for the development of reliable, specific diagnostic tools.
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