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Sequence data suggests big liver and spleen disease virus (BLSV) is genetically related to hepatitis E virus

Elsevier BV
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  • Biology
  • Design
  • Medicine


A monoclonal antibody (mAb) that reacted specifically with a 16kDa big liver and spleen disease virus (BLSV) protein was used to identify the protein in western immunoblots of infected liver extracts and enable partial amino acid sequence analysis of the protein. Based on this sequence, a degenerate primer was designed that was used in conjunction with random hexamers in a reverse transcriptase-POR (RT PCR), to amplify a 523bp product from RNA extracted from homogenates of BLSV-infected livers. There was 62% nucleotide sequence identity between this sequence and the sequence of the helicase gene of human hepatitis E virus (HEV). POR primers designed from this 523bp fragment were able to amplify a 490bp product from livers of virus-infected chickens but not chickens from virus-free flocks.

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