The close interactions of dogs with humans and surrounding wildlife provide frequent opportunities for cross-species virus transmissions. In order to initiate an unbiased characterization of the eukaryotic viruses in the gut of dogs, this study used deep sequencing of partially purified viral capsid-protected nucleic acids from the faeces of 18 diarrhoeic dogs. Known canine parvoviruses, coronaviruses and rotaviruses were identified, and the genomes of the first reported canine kobuvirus and sapovirus were characterized. Canine kobuvirus, the first sequenced canine picornavirus and the closest genetic relative of the diarrhoea-causing human Aichi virus, was detected at high frequency in the faeces of both healthy and diarrhoeic dogs. Canine sapovirus constituted a novel genogroup within the genus Sapovirus, a group of viruses also associated with human and animal diarrhoea. These results highlight the high frequency of new virus detection possible even in extensively studied animal species using metagenomics approaches, and provide viral genomes for further disease-association studies.
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