Background: Canine astrovirus (CAstV) has been considered the primary cause of gastroenteritis in young animals worldwide, while canine vesivirus (CVeV) and canine circovirus (CCiV) are occasionally reported. Aims: This study aimed to investigate the existence and molecular characteristics for these three viruses in Turkey. Methods: Faecal samples from 150 shelter dogs with gastrointestinal problems (127 adults and 23 puppies) were collected and examined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis based on the partial sequence of RdRp gene (ORF1b) for CAstV, ORF2 gene of CVeV and capsid protein (Cap) and replication associated protein (Rep) gene of CCiV. Randomly selected positive samples were submitted to sequencing and molecular analyses were conducted based on partial sequences. Results: It was found that 66% (99/150) of diarrhoeic dogs were positive for CAstV, 3.33% (5/150) for CVeV, and 6% (9/150) for CCiV. Four sub-genotypes for CAstV and two sub- genotypes for CVeV were suggested according to molecular analyses. The phylogenetic relationship of CCiV with other strains obtained from various areas was further demonstrated. Conclusion: This study emphasizes the importance of emerging viruses for canids, classification of them and their proportional contribution in gastroenteritis cases. We concluded that astrovirus infection must be considered as the major cause of diarrhea in dogs. However, the prevalences of vesivirus and circovirus were relatively low in cases make them less important in Turkey.
Key words: Canine astrovirus, canine circovirus, canine vesivirus, Diarrhea, Turkey.