Porcine torovirus (PToV) was detected from intestinal samples of piglets with diarrhea from 20 farms in southwest China. The total prevalence of PToV was 45% (9 out of 20 farms); it was the first detection of PToV in China, and also the study analyzed the phylogenetic relationships between the Chinese PToV and PToV reference strains as well as other representative toroviruses. Genetic and phylogenetic analysis showed the existence of genetic diversity among geographically separated PToV. Statistical analysis of the PToV positive rate as well as a survey for other enteric pathogens in diarrheic pigs suggests that PToV may play a role as a causative agent of severe diarrhea in piglets.
Toroviruses are enveloped, positive-stranded polyadenylated RNA viruses, which belong to the family Coronaviridae and also toroviruses are potential gastroenteritis causing agents affecting humans, calves, pigs, and horses [1–6]. In 1982, bovine torovirus (BToV) was first isolated from a case of neonatal calf diarrhea in the United States and BToV was reported to be related to calf diarrhea in experimentally infected gnotobiotic calves and under field conditions. Porcine torovirus is a member of the genus Torovirus (family Coronaviridae, order Nidovirales), and its genome organization is similar to other toroviruses, consisting of ~28000 nucleotides organized into five ORFs expressing a replicase polyprotein and four structural proteins: spike (S), membrane (M), hemagglutinin-esterase (HE) and nucleocapsid (N) [6–8]. Porcine torovirus has been reported in Canada, South Africa and European countries, Italy, Hungary, and in recent years also in Spain [5, 9, 10]. However, to our knowledge, detection of PToV in China has not been reported. In 2011 winter, there were epidemic outbreaks of diarrhea that occurred with high morbidity and mortality in China, which has caused great economic losses. Diarrhea samples were collected for examination of enteric pathogens, in which PToV was included. In this study, we reported the first detection of PToV in southwest China and analyzed the phylogenetic relationships between the Chinese PToV and PToV reference strains as well as other representative toroviruses. A survey for other enteric pathogens was also conducted and statistical analysis of the epidemiological study with regard to clinical signs (diarrhea) was performed to reveal any association of PToV infection with diarrhea in piglets.
Complete article available free of charge at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3891532/