Background: More knowledge about viral populations in wild animals is needed in order to better understand and assess the risk of zoonotic diseases. In this study we performed viral metagenomic analysis of fecal samples from three healthy carnivores: a badger (Meles meles), a mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) and an otter (Lutra lutra) from Portugal. Results: We detected the presence of novel highly divergent viruses in the fecal material of the carnivores analyzed, such as five gemycircularviruses. Four of these gemycircularviruses were found in the mongoose and one in the badger. In addition we also identified an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene from a putative novel member of the Nodaviridae family in the fecal material of the otter. Conclusions: Together these results underline that many novel viruses are yet to be discovered and that fecal associated viruses are not always related to disease. Our study expands the knowledge of viral species present in the gut, although the interpretation of the true host species of such novel viruses needs to be reviewed with great caution.
Conceição-Neto, N., Zeller, M., Heylen, E., Lefrère, H., Mesquita, J. R., & Matthijnssens, J. (2015). Fecal virome analysis of three carnivores reveals a novel nodavirus and multiple gemycircularviruses. Virology Journal, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12985-015-0305-5