Pathogenesis of Korean Sapelovirus A in piglets and chicks.
Sapelovirus A (SV-A), formerly known as porcine sapelovirus as a member of a new genus Sapelovirus, is known to cause enteritis, pneumonia, polioencephalomyelitis and reproductive disorders in pigs. We have recently identified α2,3-linked sialic acid on GD1a ganglioside as a functional SV-A receptor rich in the cells of pigs and chickens. However, the role of GD1a in viral pathogenesis remains elusive. Here, we demonstrated that a Korean SV-A strain could induce diarrhoea and intestinal pathology in piglets but not in chicks. Moreover, this Korean SV-A strain had mild extra-intestinal tropisms appearing as mild, non-suppurative myelitis, encephalitis and pneumonia in piglets, but not in chicks. By real-time reverse transcription (RT) PCR, higher viral RNA levels were detected in faecal samples than in sera or extra-intestinal organs from virus-inoculated piglets. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that high viral antigens were detected in the epithelial cells of intestines from virus-inoculated piglets but not from chicks. This Korean SV-A strain could bind the cultured cell lines originated from various species, but replication occurred only in cells of porcine origin. These data indicated that this Korean SV-A strain could replicate and induce pathology in piglets but not in chicks, suggesting that additional porcine-specific factors are required for virus entry and replication. In addition, this Korean SV-A strain is enteropathogenic, but could spread to the bloodstream from the gut and disseminate to extra-intestinal organs and tissues. These results will contribute to our understanding of SV-A pathogenesis so that efficient anti-sapelovirus drugs and vaccines could be developed in the future.