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Many of our fatal "civilization" infectious diseases have arisen from domesticated animals. Although picornaviruses infect most mammals, infection of a companion animal is not known. Here we describe the identification and genomic characterization of the first canine picornavirus. Canine kobuvirus (CKoV), identified in stool samples from dogs with diarrhea, has a genomic organization typical of a picornavirus and encodes a 2,469-amino-acid polyprotein flanked by 5' and 3' untranslated regions. Comparative phylogenetic analysis using various structural and nonstructural proteins of CKoV confirmed it as the animal virus homolog most closely related to human Aichivirus (AiV). Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo analysis suggests a mean recent divergence time of CKoV and AiV within the past 20 to 50 years, well after the domestication of canines. The discovery of CKoV provides new insights into the origin and evolution of AiV and the species specificity and pathogenesis of kobuviruses.

Original publication




Journal article


J Virol

Publication Date





11520 - 11525


3' Untranslated Regions, 5' Untranslated Regions, Animals, Cluster Analysis, Diarrhea, Dog Diseases, Dogs, Feces, Genome, Viral, Kobuvirus, Molecular Sequence Data, Phylogeny, Picornaviridae Infections, RNA, Viral, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Sequence Homology