Recombinant goose circoviruses circulating in domesticated and wild geese in Poland

Tomasz Stenzel, Daria Dziewulska, Brejnev M. Muhire, Penelope Hartnady, Simona Kraberger, Darren P. Martin, Arvind Varsani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Circoviruses are circular single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses that infect a variety of animals, both domestic and wild. Circovirus infection in birds is associated with immunosuppression and this in turn predisposes the infected animals to secondary infections that can lead to mortality. Farmed geese (Anser anser) in many parts of the world are infected with circoviruses. The majority of the current genomic information for goose circoviruses (GoCVs) (n = 40) are from birds sampled in China and Taiwan, and only two genome sequences are available from Europe (Germany and Poland). In this study, we sampled 23 wild and 19 domestic geese from the Gopło Lake area in Poland. We determined the genomes of GoCV from 21 geese; 14 domestic Greylag geese (Anser anser), three wild Greylag geese (A. anser), three bean geese (A. fabalis), and one white fronted goose (A. albifrons). These genomes share 83–95% nucleotide pairwise identities with previously identified GoCV genomes, most are recombinants with exchanged fragment sizes up to 50% of the genome. Higher diversity levels can be seen within the genomes from domestic geese compared with those from wild geese. In the GoCV capsid protein (cp) and replication associated protein (rep) gene sequences we found that episodic positive selection appears to largely mirror those of beak and feather disease virus and pigeon circovirus. Analysis of the secondary structure of the ssDNA genome revealed a conserved stem-loop structure with the G-C rich stem having a high degree of negative selection on these nucleotides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2 2018


  • Circovirus
  • Diversity
  • Goose
  • Recombination
  • Secondary structure
  • Selection
  • SsDNA virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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