Adenoviruses are nonenveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses, known to infect members of all tetrapod classes, with a similarity between phylogenies of hosts and viruses observed. We characterized bottlenose dolphin adenovirus 2 (BdAdV-2) found in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with enteritis. Virions were seen by negative staining electron microscopy of feces. Initial sequences obtained using conserved PCR primers were expanded using primer walking techniques, and the complete coding sequence was obtained. Phylogenetic analyses were consistent with coevolution of this virus and its bottlenose dolphin host, placing BdAdV-2 into a monophyletic group with other mastadenoviruses of Cetartiodactyla. When considering the low guanine/cytosine (G/C) content of BdAdV-2 with the phylogenetic data, this virus may represent a host-jumping event from another member of Cetartiodactyla. Analysis of partial polymerase indicated that bottlenose dolphin adenovirus 1, previously identified in Spain, and BdAdV-2 are sister taxa with harbor porpoise adenovirus 1, forming a cetacean clade. Bottlenose dolphin adenovirus 2 includes a highly divergent fiber gene. Two genes homologous to the dUTPase superfamily are also present which could play a role in enabling viral replication in nondividing cells. We used sequence data to develop a probe hybridization quantitative PCR assay specific to BdAdV-2 with a limit of detection of 10 copies.
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Vol. 54 • No. 1