Isolation and characterization of a variant duck orthoreovirus causing spleen necrosis in Peking ducks, China.
Since December 2017, an infectious disease has caused economic hardship for duck farms and breeding ducks in many regions of China. This disease characterized by spleen necrosis and swelling, is due to a variant strain of duck orthoreovirus (DRV) (Duck/N-DRV-XT18/China/2018), which we isolated from the spleen of diseased ducks. After isolating the virus, we used next-generation sequencing technology to determine the entire genomic of the virus. Our phylogenetic analysis of 10 genomic segments showed that the N-DRV-XT18 strain is closely related to orthoreovirus isolates derived from ducks and geese, with nucleotide sequence identities for 10 genomic fragments ranging between 49.8% and 99.3%. In contract, the nucleotide sequence of N-DRV-XT18 genomic fragments are only 38.6% to 78.8% similar to the chicken orthoreovirus isolate. Therefore, we determined that this pathogen, causing duck spleen necrosis, is a new variant of a duck orthoreovirus that is significantly different from any previously reported waterfowl-derived othoreovirus.