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Turkey coronavirus is more closely related to avian infectious bronchitis virus than to mammalian coronaviruses: a review



Turkey coronavirus is more closely related to avian infectious bronchitis virus than to mammalian coronaviruses: a review



Avian Pathology 29(3): 207-212



Turkey coronavirus (TCoV) is the cause of an acute highly contagious enteric disease of turkeys. In recent years, TCoV has been increasingly recognized in North America as an important pathogen of young turkeys, resulting in economic loss due to impaired growth and poor feed conversion. While the epidemiology and pathogenesis of TCoV have been extensively studied, TCoV remains one of the least characterized of the known coronaviruses. Avian and mammalian coronaviruses have been subdivided into distinct antigenic/genotypic groups; however, classification of TCoV has been controversial. Previous studies indicated that TCoV was closely related to bovine coronavirus and other group 2 mammalian coronaviruses, but more recent antigenic and genome sequence analyses contradict these findings and, instead, provide evidence that TCoV is closely related to avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). Additionally, experimental studies have indicated that the host range of TCoV, once thought to be restricted to turkeys, includes chickens. These studies have raised additional questions regarding the classification of TCoV; particularly, whether IBV and TCoV are taxonomically distinct viruses, or whether TCoV is merely a variant of IBV. Sequence analyses of TCoV have given credence to the idea that TCoV is a variant of IBV, as these studies have shown that TCoV and IBV are very closely related. However, these studies have been limited to only three TCoV strains and relatively small portions of the TCoV genome. TCoV is readily distinguished from IBV based on antigenic and biological differences, and these differences suggest that TCoV should be considered a distinct virus species. Additional studies will be needed to better define the relationship between TCoV and IBV, and to resolve this taxonomic question. Based on our current understanding, it seems prudent to consider TCoV and IBV as distinct virus species that share a close phylogenetic relationship and together comprise group 3 of the coronavirus major antigenic groups.

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Accession: 011600360

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19184806

DOI: 10.1080/03079450050045459


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