The isolation and molecular characterization of an astrovirus from "yellow" chickens, China

Chicken astrovirus (CAstV) infection is strongly associated with kidney disease, gout, "white chicks" hatchery disease, and runting and stunting syndrome (RSS). In the present study, 82.5% of 154 clinical samples from different provinces in China were positive for CAstV by RT-PCR. One CAstV isolate, designated as AAstV/Chicken/CHN/2017/NJ01, was successfully isolated from the small intestine of "Yellow" chickens using LMH cells. The genome sequence and structure analyses revealed that NJ1701 had the typical characteristics of avian astroviruses which was genetically distinct from other Avastrovirus. This isolate was classified as Group B subgroup i based on phylogenetic analysis of complete ORF2 (capsid) amino acid sequences. Meanwhile, growth depression and hatchability reduction were observed in the chicken embryo infection experiment. The results in the current study will contribute to our understanding of chicken astrovirus in China.

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