Feline fecal virome reveals novel and prevalent enteric viruses

Terry Fei Fan Ng, João Rodrigo Mesquita, Maria São José Nascimento, Nikola O. Kondov, Walt Wong, Gábor Reuter, Nick J. Knowles, Everardo Vega, Mathew D. Esona, Xutao Deng, Jan Vinjé, Eric Delwart

Research output: Article

49 Citations (Scopus)


Humans keep more than 80 million cats worldwide, ensuring frequent exposure to their viruses. Despite such interactions the enteric virome of cats remains poorly understood. We analyzed a fecal sample from a single healthy cat from Portugal using viral metagenomics and detected five eukaryotic viral genomes. These viruses included a novel picornavirus (proposed genus "Sakobuvirus") and bocavirus (feline bocavirus 2), a variant of feline astrovirus 2 and sequence fragments of a highly divergent feline rotavirus and picobirnavirus. Feline sakobuvirus A represents the prototype species of a proposed new genus in the Picornaviridae family, distantly related to human salivirus and kobuvirus. Feline astroviruses (mamastrovirus 2) are the closest known relatives of the classic human astroviruses (mamastrovirus 1), suggestive of past cross-species transmission. Presence of these viruses by PCR among Portuguese cats was detected in 13% (rotavirus), 7% (astrovirus), 6% (bocavirus), 4% (sakobuvirus), and 4% (picobirnavirus) of 55 feline fecal samples. Co-infections were frequent with 40% (4/10) of infected cats shedding more than one of these five viruses. Our study provides an initial description of the feline fecal virome indicating a high level of asymptomatic infections. Availability of the genome sequences of these viruses will facilitate future tropism and feline disease association studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

Ng, T. F. F., Mesquita, J. R., Nascimento, M. S. J., Kondov, N. O., Wong, W., Reuter, G., Knowles, N. J., Vega, E., Esona, M. D., Deng, X., Vinjé, J., & Delwart, E. (2014). Feline fecal virome reveals novel and prevalent enteric viruses. Veterinary Microbiology, 171(1-2), 102-111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2014.04.005