Genus: Tremovirus


Genus: Tremovirus

Distinguishing features

The genus is distinguished on the basis of genetic characters. Avian encephalomyelitis virus (AEV) is most similar to hepatitis A virus (HAV, genus Hepatovirus), but differs by possessing i) a type IV IRES (HAV is type III), ii) 2A with an H-box/NC motif, and iii) 2B and 3A polypeptides with little sequence identity to the HAV counterparts.

Virion

Morphology

No surface morphology is visible by EM.

Physicochemical and physical properties

AEV is stable at pH 3.0 and has a buoyant density of 1.31 to 1.33 g cm-3

Nucleic acid

Genome (Marvil et al., 1999): c. 7,032 nt (5′-UTR: 494 nt; ORF: 6,405; 3′-UTR: 135 nt). The 5′-UTR contains a 5′-terminal hairpin, two putative pseudoknots, and a short (ca. 40 nt) pyrimidine-rich (i.e. not pure poly-C) tract upstream of the type IV IRES. AEV RNA contains the shortest of all picornavirus 5′-UTRs. The location of the cre is thought to lie within the 3D region.

Proteins

Similar to hepatoviruses, protein 1A of AEV is predicted to be extremely small, does not appear to be myristoylated at its N-terminus, and therefore may not be a component of the mature virus particle. 

Genome organization and replication

Genome layout

VPg+5′-UTRIRES-IV-[1A-1B-1C-1D-2AH-box/NC/2B-2C/3A-3B-3C-3D]-3′-UTR-poly(A)

The polyprotein is of 2,134 aa contains only a single proteinase (3Cpro). There is no L protein. The 2A protein has an H-box/NC motif. The primary cleavage of the polyprotein is predicted to occur at the 2A/2B junction, and is probably catalyzed by 3Cpro. Like hepatoviruses, the 1D/2A cleavage may be directed by an unknown cellular protease, or the VP1 protein may be subject to C-terminal trimming as in cardioviruses. The IRES is type IV. 

Biology

AEV causes encephalomyelitis in young chickens, pheasants, quail and turkeys. It can be transmitted both vertically and by the faecal-oral route; field strains are enterotropic. A live, highly enterotropic AEV vaccine is widely used to control the disease. Three genetic types are distinguished by means of phylogenetic analysis (Tremovirus A: 1 type, Tremovirus B: 2 types). 

Derivation of names

Tremovirus: from an alternative name for avian encephalomyelitis, epidemic tremor.

Species demarcation criteria

Members of a species of the genus Tremovirus:

  • are less than 50% divergent in polyprotein aa sequence
  • are less than 35% divergent in P1 aa sequence
  • are less than 50% divergent in 2C+3CD aa sequence
  • share a common genome organization

Member species

Exemplar isolate of the species
SpeciesVirus nameIsolateAccession numberRefSeq numberAvailable sequenceVirus Abbrev.
Tremovirus Atremovirus A1; avian encephalomyelitis virusCalnekAJ225173NC_003990Complete genomeAEV
Tremovirus Btremovirus B1; Pelodiscus sinensis picornavirus 1CNSR2011KY432472NC_040673Complete genomeTrV-B1
Tremovirus Btremovirus B2; Chinese broad-headed pond turtle picornavirus 2WHWGGF75534MG600110Complete genomeTrV-B2

Virus names, the choice of exemplar isolates, and virus abbreviations, are not official ICTV designations.