Characterization of Durham virus, a novel rhabdovirus that encodes both a C and SH protein

A. B. Allison, G. Palacios, A. Travassos da Rosa, V. L. Popov, L. Lu, S. Y. Xiao, K. DeToy, T. Briese, W. I. Lipkin, M. K. Keel, D. E. Stallknecht, G. R. Bishop, R. B. Tesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The family Rhabdoviridae is a diverse group of non-segmented, negative-sense RNA viruses that are distributed worldwide and infect a wide range of hosts including vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Of the 114 currently recognized vertebrate rhabdoviruses, relatively few have been well characterized at both the antigenic and genetic level; hence, the phylogenetic relationships between many of the vertebrate rhabdoviruses remain unknown. The present report describes a novel rhabdovirus isolated from the brain of a moribund American coot (Fulica americana) that exhibited neurological signs when found in Durham County, North Carolina, in 2005. Antigenic characterization of the virus revealed that it was serologically unrelated to 68 other known vertebrate rhabdoviruses. Genomic sequencing of the virus indicated that it shared the highest identity to Tupaia rhabdovirus (TUPV), and as only previously observed in TUPV, the genome encoded a putative C protein in an overlapping open reading frame (ORF) of the phosphoprotein gene and a small hydrophobic (SH) protein located in a novel ORF between the matrix and glycoprotein genes. Phylogenetic analysis of partial amino acid sequences of the nucleoprotein and polymerase protein indicated that, in addition to TUPV, the virus was most closely related to avian and small mammal rhabdoviruses from Africa and North America. In this report, we present the morphological, pathological, antigenic, and genetic characterization of the new virus, tentatively named Durham virus (DURV), and discuss its potential evolutionary relationship to other vertebrate rhabdoviruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-122
Number of pages11
JournalVirus Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • C protein
  • Durham virus
  • Overprinting
  • Rhabdovirus
  • Small hydrophobic protein
  • Vesiculovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research


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