Two novel dromedary camel bocaparvoviruses from dromedaries in the middle east with unique genomic features

Patrick C.Y. Woo, Susanna K.P. Lau, Hoi Wah Tsoi, Nissy Georgy Patteril, Hazel C. Yeung, Sunitha Joseph, Emily Y.M. Wong, Rubeena Muhammed, Franklin W.N. Chow, Ulrich Wernery, Kwok Yung Yuen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The recent emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus and its discovery from dromedary camels has boosted interest in the search for novel viruses in dromedaries. While bocaparvoviruses are known to infect various animals, it was not known that they exist in dromedaries. In this study, we describe the discovery of two novel dromedary camel bocaparvoviruses (DBoVs), DBoV1 and DBoV2, from dromedary faecal samples in Dubai. Among 667 adult dromedaries and 72 dromedary calves, 13.9 % of adult dromedaries and 33.3 % of dromedary calves were positive for DBoV1, while 7.0 % of adult dromedaries and 25.0 % of dromedary calves were positive for DBoV2, as determined by PCR. Sequencing of 21 DBoV1 and 18 DBoV2 genomes and phylogenetic analysis showed that DBoV1 and DBoV2 formed two distinct clusters, with only 32.6-36.3 % amino acid identities between the DBoV1 and DBoV2 strains. Quasispecies were detected in both DBoVs. The amino acid sequences of the NS1 proteins of all the DBoV1 and DBoV2 strains showed <85 % identity to those of all the other bocaparvoviruses, indicating that DBoV1 and DBoV2 are two bocaparvovirus species according to the ICTV criteria. Although the typical genome structure of NS1-NP1-VP1/VP2 was observed in DBoV1 and DBoV2, no phospholipase A2 motif and associated calcium binding site were observed in the predicted VP1 sequences for any of the 18 sequenced DBoV2, and no start codons were found for their VP1. For all 18 DBoV2 genomes, an AT-rich region of variable length and composition was present downstream to NP1. Further studies will be crucial to understand the pathogenic potential of DBoVs in this unique group of animals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number000775
Pages (from-to)1349-1359
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number6
Early online date14 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bocaparvovirus
  • Dromedary camel
  • Genome
  • Phylogeny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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