Smacoviruses are small circular single-stranded DNA viruses that appear to be prevalent in faeces of a range of animals and have also been found in a few insect species. In this study, we report the first viral genomes from faeces of free-roaming wild felids on two continents. Two smacoviruses were recovered from the faeces of two North American bobcats (Lynx rufus), and one was recovered from an African lion (Panthera leo). All three genomes are genetically different, sharing 59-69% genome-wide sequence identity to other smacoviruses. These are the first full smacovirus genome sequences associated with a large top-end feline predator, and their presence in these samples suggests that feline faeces are a natural niche for the organisms that these viruses infect.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
supported by the National Park Service and Santa Monica Mountains Fund, and Laurel Serieys was supported by a NSF graduate student fellowship.
Sample collection of bobcat faecal material was supported by the National Park Service and Santa Monica Mountains Fund, and Laurel Serieys was supported by a NSF graduate student fellowship.
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