The molecular diversity in S3 gene sequences of turkey reovirus (TRV) was determined in poult enteritis syndrome (PES)-affected and apparently healthy turkey poults. Twenty-nine TRV-positive samples (15 from PES-affected flocks and 14 from apparently healthy flocks) were tested using self-designed primers for the S3 gene. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the TRV S3 sequences of this study clustered in clade III and formed two different groups in this clade. The avian reoviruses from duck and goose formed clade I and those from chickens formed clade II. The clade III TRV sequences had a nucleotide percent identity of 88.9 to 100% among themselves but only of 59.5 to 63.5% and 69.2 to 72.6% with clades I and II, respectively. More amino acid substitutions were present in TRVs from PES-affected flocks than in those from apparently healthy flocks using ATCC VR-818 (AY444912) as a benchmark. All TRVs of this study showed substitutions at positions 244 and 285. The impact of these changes on the virulence of the virus, if any, needs to be studied.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was partially funded by a grant from the Rapid Agricultural Response Fund, University of Minnesota.