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    Hepaciviruses represent a group of viruses that pose a significant threat to the health of humans and animals. New members of the genus Hepacivirus in the family Flaviviridae have recently been identified in a wide variety of host species worldwide. Similar to the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), bovine hepacivirus (BovHepV) is hepatotropic and causes acute or persistent infections in cattle. BovHepVs are distributed worldwide and classified into two genotypes with seven subtypes in genotype 1. In this study, three BovHepV strains were identified in the samples of ticks sucking blood on cattle in the Guangdong province of China, through unbiased high-throughput sequencing. Genetic analysis revealed the polyprotein-coding gene of these viral sequences herein shared 67.7-84.8% nt identity and 76.1-95.6% aa identity with other BovHepVs identified worldwide. As per the demarcation criteria adopted for the genotyping and subtyping of HCV, these three BovHepV strains belonged to a novel subtype within the genotype 1. Additionally, purifying selection was the dominant evolutionary pressure acting on the genomes of BovHepV, and genetic recombination was not common among BovHepVs. These results expand the knowledge about the genetic diversity and evolution of BovHepV distributed globally, and also indicate genetically divergent BovHepV strains were co-circulating in cattle populations in China.


    Jian-Wei Shao, Luan-Ying Guo, Yao-Xian Yuan, Jun Ma, Ji-Ming Chen, Quan Liu. A Novel Subtype of Bovine Hepacivirus Identified in Ticks Reveals the Genetic Diversity and Evolution of Bovine Hepacivirus. Viruses. 2021 Nov 02;13(11)

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    PMID: 34835012

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