High prevalence of Enterovirus E, Bovine Kobuvirus, and Astrovirus revealed by viral metagenomics in fecal samples from cattle in Central Colombia

Julián Esteban Medina, Sergio Castañeda, Luisa Páez-Triana, Milena Camargo, Diego J. Garcia-Corredor, Marcela Gómez, Nicolas Luna, Angie L. Ramírez, Martín Pulido-Medellín, Marina Muñoz, Juan David Ramírez

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review


Livestock plays a crucial role in ensuring food security and driving the global economy. However, viral infections can have far-reaching consequences beyond economic productivity, affecting the health of cattle, as well as posing risks to human health and other animals. Identifying viruses present in fecal samples, a primary route of pathogen transmission, is essential for developing effective prevention, control, and surveillance strategies. Viral metagenomic approaches offer a broader perspective and hold great potential for detecting previously unknown viruses or uncovering previously undescribed agents. Ubaté Province is Colombia's dairy capital and a key center for livestock production in the country. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to characterize viral communities in fecal samples from cattle in this region. A total of 42 samples were collected from three municipalities in Ubaté Province, located in central Colombia, using a convenient non-probabilistic sampling method. We utilized metagenomic sequencing with Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT), combined with diversity and phylogenetic analysis. The findings revealed a consistent and stable viral composition across the municipalities, primarily comprising members of the Picornaviridae family. At the species level, the most frequent viruses were Enterovirus E (EVE) and Bovine Astrovirus (BoAstV). Significantly, this study reported, for the first time in Colombia, the presence of viruses with veterinary importance occurring at notable frequencies: EVE (59%), Bovine Kobuvirus (BKV) (52%), and BoAstV (19%). Additionally, the study confirmed the existence of Circular replicase-encoding single-stranded (CRESS) Virus in animal feces. These sequences were phylogenetically grouped with samples obtained from Asia and Latin America, underscoring the importance of having adequate representation across the continent. The virome of bovine feces in Ubaté Province is characterized by the predominance of potentially pathogenic viruses such as BoAstV and EVE that have been reported with substantial frequency and quantities. Several of these viruses were identified in Colombia for the first time. This study showcases the utility of using metagenomic sequencing techniques in epidemiological surveillance. It also paves the way for further research on the influence of these agents on bovine health and their frecuency across the country.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105543
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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