Molecular epidemiology and characterization of picobirnaviruses in small ruminant populations in India

Yashpal Singh Malik, Shubhankar Sircar, Kuldeep Dhama, Rashmi Singh, Souvik Ghosh, K. Bányai, Anastasia N. Vlasova, Touil Nadia, Raj Kumar Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Picobirnavirus (PBV) is recognized as a putative cause of diarrhea and respiratory illnesses. Although PBV has been reported in several mammalian (including humans) and avian host species, data pertaining to its presence in small ruminants are limited. We report, here, PBV infection in small ruminants (ovine and caprine), in India. From January 2015 to December 2017, 400 samples were tested for the presence of PBV, using an RT-PCR assay specific for the genome segment-2. The overall rate of PBV infection was 35.75% (143/400), being higher in caprines (42.35%, 83/196) than in ovines (29.42%, 60/204). Viral genogrouping showed the predominance of PBV genogroup I (GG-I; 53.15%, 76/173), the detection of genogroup II (GG-II; 3.49%, 5/143), a concomitant infection with GG-I and GG-II (38.47%, 55/143), and un-typeable strains (4.9%, 7/143). Of note, these PBV strains exhibit low sequence identity (11.2% to 70.7%) to other reported PBV isolates from humans and other animals. By phylogenetic analysis, camel PBV isolates from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the reference human GG-I strain (1-CHN-97) from China were found to be the nearest neighbors of PBV strains. Furthermore, sequence analysis revealed the possible appearance of a new genogroup/genetic cluster and the existence of high genetic heterogeneity in the circulating PBV strains. Although much remains to be understood about the epidemiology and impact of PBV, the present study demonstrates the high prevalence of GG-I, the detection of GG-II, and the possible emergence of new genogroup/genetic cluster in small ruminant populations in India.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-42
Number of pages4
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Caprine
  • India
  • Molecular characterization
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Ovine
  • Picobirnavirus
  • Small ruminant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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