A red squirrel associated adenovirus identified by a combined microarray and deep sequencing approach
In 2013, an adult red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) was found dead showing, during necropsy, acute diffuse catarrhal enteritis. Using a virus screening pipeline based on a pan-viral DNA microarray with downstream next-generation sequencing a novel squirrel-associated virus was identified with mastadenovirus-typical sequence elements. Phylogenetic analysis of hexon protein amino acid sequences demonstrated the highest similarity to Equine adenovirus (AdV) 2, but a strong divergence to a squirrel AdV from Korea and other rodent AdVs. Shorter hexon gene segment investigations confirmed a close relationship with other squirrel-derived AdVs from Europe. The novel virus species was tentatively designated as Squirrel Adenovirus-1.