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M gene analysis of atypical strains of feline and canine coronavirus circulating in an Austrian animal shelter
  1. V. Benetka, DVM1,
  2. J. Kolodziejek, Dr.1,
  3. K. Walk, DVM1,
  4. M. Rennhofer, DVM1 and
  5. K. Möstl, DVM1
  1. 1 Clinical Virology, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Infectious Diseases and Clinical Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinärplatz 1, A-1210 Vienna, Austria
  1. Correspondence to Professor Möstl

Abstract

Coronavirus-positive samples of faeces collected in an Austrian animal shelter from 12 cats and 10 dogs were analysed by reverse transcriptase-pcr with primers amplifying a segment of the M protein gene, and by sequence analysis. In addition, the samples were subjected to S gene typing, using primers that differentiated between feline coronavirus (fcov) types I and II. A phylogenetic analysis of the M gene sequences revealed not only clearly segregating canine coronavirus (ccov) in the dogs, typical ccov sequences and the recently described fcov-like ccov, but also at least two genetic clusters of fcov in the cats, one species-specific, the other more closely related to fcov-like ccov. The M gene sequences of these new feline strains had at most 88 per cent identity with the fcov-like ccov strain 259/01 and only up to 85 per cent with any fcov sequence available in GenBank. In the phylogenetic tree they occupy an intermediate position between feline and canine coronaviruses.

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