A global genomic characterization of nairoviruses identifies nine discrete genogroups with distinctive structural characteristics and host-vector associations

Peter J. Walker, Steven G. Widen, Thomas G. Wood, Hilda Guzman, Robert B. Tesh, Nikolaos Vasilakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nairoviruses are primarily tick-borne bunyaviruses, some of which are known to cause mild-to-severe febrile illness in humans or livestock. We describe the genome sequences of 11 poorly characterized nairoviruses that have ecological associations with either birds (Farallon, Punta Salinas, Sapphire II, Zirqa, Avalon, Clo Mor, Taggert, and Abu Hammad viruses), rodents (Qalyub and Bandia viruses), or camels (Dera Ghazi Khan virus). Global phylogenetic analyses of proteins encoded in the L, M, and S RNA segments of these and 20 other available nairovirus genomes identified nine well-supported genogroups (Nairobi sheep disease, Thiafora, Sakhalin, Keterah, Qalyub, Kasokero, Dera Ghazi Khan, Hughes, and Tamdy). Genogroup-specific structural variations were evident, particularly in the M segment encoding a polyprotein from which virion envelope glycoproteins (Gn and Gc) are generated by proteolytic processing. Structural variations include the extension, abbreviation, or absence sequences encoding an O-glycosylated mucin-like protein in the N-terminal domain, distinctive patterns of conserved cysteine residues in the GP38-like domain, insertion of sequences encoding a double-membrane-spanning protein (NSm) between the Gn and Gc domains, and the presence of an alternative long open reading frame encoding a viroporin-like transmembrane protein (Gx). We also observed strong genogroup-specific associations with categories of hosts and tick vectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1107-1122
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume94
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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