Orthoreoviruses have been associated with a variety of diseases in domesticated poultry and wild-living birds. In 2002, a reovirus strain named Tvarminne avian virus (TVAV), was identified in Finland in a crow showing neurological disorders. The objective of this study was the molecular characterization of this novel reovirus strain. Genome sequencing was performed by combining semiconductor sequencing and traditional capillary sequencing. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses showed that TVAV shares low nucleotide sequence identity with other reoviruses (range for each gene, 31-72%) including strains belonging to the species Avian orthoreovirus. The most closely related reovirus strain was an isolate identified in Steller sea lion. Our data indicate that TVAV is a divergent reovirus of avian origin that may be the first representative of a distinct virus species within the genus Orthoreovirus.
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