Recent metagenomic analyses of the enteric viromes in turkeys and chickens have revealed complex viral communities comprised of multiple viral families. Of particular significance are the novel avian picobirnaviruses (family Picobirnaviridae), multiple genera of tailed phages (family Siphoviridae), and undescribed avian enteric picornaviruses (family Picornaviridae). In addition to these largely undescribed—and therefore relatively poorly understood—poultry enteric viral families, these metagenomic analyses have also revealed the presence of well-known groups of enteric viruses such as the chicken and turkey astroviruses (family Astroviridae) and the avian rotaviruses and reoviruses (family Reoviridae). The order Picornavirales is a group of viruses in flux, particularly among the avian picornaviruses, since several new genera have been described recently based upon community analysis of enteric viromes from poultry and other avian species worldwide. Our previous investigation of the turkey enteric picornaviruses suggests the avian enteric picornaviruses may contribute to the enteric disease syndromes and performance problems often observed in turkeys in the Southeastern United States. This report describes our recent phylogenetic analysis of turkey and chicken enteric samples archived at the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory from 2004 to present and is a first step in placing these novel avian picornaviruses within the larger Picornaviridae family.
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Vol. 60 • No. 2