G. Jang1, K.-K. Lee2, S.-H. Kim2 and C. Lee1,*
1Animal Virology Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, BK21 Plus KNU Creative BioResearch Group, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea
2Animal Disease Diagnostic Division, Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, Gimcheon, Korea
* Correspondence : C. Lee, School of Life Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) is a newly emerged enterotropic swine coronavirus that causes enteritis and diarrhoea in piglets. Here, a nested reverse transcription (RT)-PCR approach for the detection of PDCoV was developed to identify and characterize aetiologic agent(s) associated with diarrhoeal diseases in piglets in South Korea. A PCR-based method was applied to investigate the presence of PDCoV in 683 diarrhoeic samples collected from 449 commercial pig farms in South Korea from January 2014 to December 2016. The molecular-based survey indicated a relatively high prevalence of PDCoV (19.03%) in South Korea. Among those, the monoinfection of PDCoV (9.66%) and co-infection of PDCoV (6.30%) with porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PEDV) were predominant in diarrhoeal samples. The full-length genomes or the complete spike genes of the most recent strains identified in 2016 (KNU16-07, KNU16-08 and KNU16-11) were sequenced and analysed to characterize PDCoV currently prevalent in South Korea. We found a single insertion-deletion signature and dozens of genetic changes in the spike (S) genes of the KNU16 isolates. Phylogenetic analysis based on the entire genome and spike protein sequences of these strains indicated that they are most closely related to other Korean isolates grouped with the US strains. However, Korean PDCoV strains formed different branches within the same cluster, implying continuous evolution in the field. Our data will advance the understanding of the molecular epidemiology and evolutionary characteristics of PDCoV circulating in South Korea.
Keywords: full-length genome;nested RT-PCR;PDCoV;PDCoV;prevalence