Possible new dicistrovirus: Ervivirus
Abstract from Victoria et al.,
In 1988 the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was founded, facing over
350,000 worldwide infections of poliovirus in children. Despite large
strides in poliovirus eradication, four countries, India, Afghanistan,
Nigeria and Pakistan are still endemic for polio. As part of the initiative
stool samples are routinely collected from children with acute flaccid
paralysis (AFP) and screened by serology and PCR for picornaviruses,
Poliovirus and enterovirus negative stool or stool-inoculated tissue culture
supernatants from children presenting with AFP collected in Pakistan were
used in these studies. We employed a shotgun metagenomics approach using
sequence independent amplification of viral nucleic acids to detect new and
divergent viruses. PCR products were cloned and sequenced by traditional
Sanger sequencing or used directly for large scale 454 pyrosequencing.
Sequences were assembled based on 95% identity over at least 35bp and
characterized by nucleotide and protein BLAST similarities. A group of
viruses were identified, tentatively named Ervivirus. Conserved Ervivirus
domains were used for consensus PCR primer design in prevalence and
Ervivirus exhibited only 22% amino acid identity to the closest dicis[c]trovirus
family member, Israel acute paralysis virus of bees. Genomic arrangement of
Ervivirus mirrored that of the dicistroviruses in which non-structural genes
are 5’ of structural genes, separated by a non-coding spacer region which
was slightly larger in Ervivirus (250bp) when compared to dicistroviruses
(170-200bp). Three genetic variants were identified in 14 samples tested
exhibiting 80-85% amino acid identity to Ervivirus. Neighbor-joining and
maximum likelihood phylogenetic reconstruction of conserved coding sequences
indicate Ervivirus is a deeply rooted new genus within the
family whose only reported host to date are invertebrates.
We have identified novel dicistro-like virus isolated from children with AFP
provisionally named Ervivirus. This is the first evidence of picornalike
viruses with a dicistronic genomic arrangement from mammalian samples.
Ervivirus cellular tropism and prevalence are currently underway to
determine linkage to AFP.
 spelling correction.
Victoria, J.G., Kapoor, A., Wang, C.,
Shafer, R.W., Naeem, A., Sharif, S., Shaukat, S., Masroor, M., Angez, M.,
Zaidi, S.Z. and Delwart, E.L. (2008). Identification of novel di[s]cistro-like
virus from stool samples of children with acute flaccid paralysis.
[abstract]. International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases 2008:
slide sessions and poster abstracts. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the
Internet]. 14 Mar 2008. Available from