Epidemiologic Status of Picobirnavirus in India, A Less Explored Viral Disease

Yashpal Singh Malik1, *, Shubhankar Sircar1, Sharad Saurabh1, Jobin Jose Kattoor1, Rashmi Singh2, Balasubramanian Ganesh3, Souvik Ghosh4, Kuldeep Dhama1, Raj Kumar Singh1
1 ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly 243122, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 College of Veterinary Sciences, DUVASU, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh – 281001, India
3 Indian Council of Medical Research -National Institute of Epidemiology, R-127; 2nd Main Road, TNHB Layout, Ayapakkam, Chennai - 600 077, India
4 One Health Center for Zoonoses and Tropical Veterinary Medicine, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, P. O. Box 334, Basseterre, St. Kitts, West Indies

© 2018 Malik et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly 243122, Uttar Pradesh, India; Tel: 7500777999; E-mail:


Since the unexpected discovery of picobirnaviruses (PBV) in 1988, they have been reported in many animals including mammals and birds, which comprises both terrestrial and marine species. Due to their divergent characteristics to other viral taxa they are classified into a new family Picobirnaviridae. Although their pathogenicity and role in causing diarrhea still remains a question since they have been discovered in symptomatic and asymptomatic cases both. Recent studies employing state-of-art molecular tools have described their presence in various clinical samples, like stool samples from different mammals and birds, respiratory tracts of pigs and humans, sewage water, different foods, etc. Furthermore, their epidemiological status from different parts of the world in different hosts has also increased. Due to their diverse host and irregular host pattern their role in causing diarrhea remains alien. The heterogeneity nature can be ascribed to segmented genome of PBV, which renders them prone to continuous reassortment. Studies have been hampered on PBVs due to their non-adaptability to cell culture system. Here, we describe the molecular epidemiological data on PBVs in India and discusses the overall status of surveillance studies carried out till date in India.

Keywords: Picobirnavirus, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Genogroup, RdRp phyloanalysis, RT-PCR, India.