Family: Picornaviridae

Genus: Anativirus


Distinguishing features

The genus is distinguished on the basis of genetic characters. The known anativiruses lack a functional 2A protein. 



No details are available on the morphology of the virions. 

Nucleic acid

Genome: (Tseng and Tsai 2007, Pankovics et al., 2012, Boros et al., 2016) and (J.G. Morgan, S. Bullman, B. Lucey, unpublished) 8,159–8,226 nt (5′-UTR: up to 425 nt; ORF: 7,446–7,563 nt; 3′-UTR: 219–238 nt). The location of the cre has not been identified. 

Genome organization and replication

Genome layout:


The deduced polyprotein is of 2,482–2,521 amino acids. The predicted leader polypeptide of duck picornavirus is the longest known at 451 aa and suspected to be a trypsin-like protease. The L/VP0 cleavage and presence of a potential myristoylation site on VP0 is predicted for duck picornavirus (kQ/GqvqS). The 2A region is largely deleted with a residual 6 aa remaining. 


Duck picornavirus was isolated from intestinal tracts of duckling with duck virus hepatitis (Tseng and Tsai 2007). The virus, however, could not produce hemorrhagic lesions in the liver and causes a less fatal disease. RNA of members of Anativirus B has been detected in faecal samples of quails and in cloacal swabs and caecum samples of chickens. Two types of Anativirus B are distinguished namely phacovirus and chicken picornavirus (both anativirus B1) and quail picornavirus (anativirus B2). 

Derivation of names

Anativirus: from Anatidae, the family of birds that includes ducks, geese and swans. 

Species demarcation criteria

Members of a species of the genus Anativirus:

  • are less than 30% divergent in polyprotein aa sequence
  • are less than 40% divergent in P1 aa sequence
  • are less than 35% divergent in 2C+3CD aa sequence
  • share a common genome organization