Discovery of Novel Rhabdoviruses in the Blood of Healthy Individuals from West Africa

Matthew H. Stremlau, Kristian G. Andersen, Onikepe A. Folarin, Jessica N. Grove, Ikponmwonsa Odia, Philomena E. Ehiane, Omowunmi Omoniwa, Omigie Omoregie, Pan Pan Jiang, Nathan L. Yozwiak, Christian B. Matranga, Xiao Yang, Stephen K. Gire, Sarah Winnicki, Ridhi Tariyal, Stephen F. Schaffner, Peter O. Okokhere, Sylvanus Okogbenin, George O. Akpede, Danny A. Asogun & 7 others Dennis E. Agbonlahor, Peter J. Walker, Robert B. Tesh, Joshua Z. Levin, Robert F. Garry, Pardis C. Sabeti, Christian T. Happi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has the potential to transform the discovery of viruses causing unexplained acute febrile illness (UAFI) because it does not depend on culturing the pathogen or a priori knowledge of the pathogen’s nucleic acid sequence. More generally, it has the potential to elucidate the complete human virome, including viruses that cause no overt symptoms of disease, but may have unrecognized immunological or developmental consequences. We have used NGS to identify RNA viruses in the blood of 195 patients with UAFI and compared them with those found in 328 apparently healthy (i.e., no overt signs of illness) control individuals, all from communities in southeastern Nigeria. Among UAFI patients, we identified the presence of nucleic acids from several well-characterized pathogenic viruses, such as HIV-1, hepatitis, and Lassa virus. In our cohort of healthy individuals, however, we detected the nucleic acids of two novel rhabdoviruses. These viruses, which we call Ekpoma virus-1 (EKV-1) and Ekpoma virus-2 (EKV-2), are highly divergent, with little identity to each other or other known viruses. The most closely related rhabdoviruses are members of the genus Tibrovirus and Bas-Congo virus (BASV), which was recently identified in an individual with symptoms resembling hemorrhagic fever. Furthermore, by conducting a serosurvey of our study cohort, we find evidence for remarkably high exposure rates to the identified rhabdoviruses. The recent discoveries of novel rhabdoviruses by multiple research groups suggest that human infection with rhabdoviruses might be common. While the prevalence and clinical significance of these viruses are currently unknown, these viruses could have previously unrecognized impacts on human health; further research to understand the immunological and developmental impact of these viruses should be explored. More generally, the identification of similar novel viruses in individuals with and without overt symptoms of disease highlights the need for a broader understanding of the human virome as efforts for viral detection and discovery advance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0003631
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 17 2015

Fingerprint

Rhabdoviridae
Western Africa
Viruses
Fever
Nucleic Acids
Lassa virus
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus
Hepatitis Viruses
RNA Viruses
Nigeria
Research
HIV-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Cite this

Stremlau, M. H., Andersen, K. G., Folarin, O. A., Grove, J. N., Odia, I., Ehiane, P. E., ... Happi, C. T. (2015). Discovery of Novel Rhabdoviruses in the Blood of Healthy Individuals from West Africa. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9(3), [e0003631]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003631

Discovery of Novel Rhabdoviruses in the Blood of Healthy Individuals from West Africa. / Stremlau, Matthew H.; Andersen, Kristian G.; Folarin, Onikepe A.; Grove, Jessica N.; Odia, Ikponmwonsa; Ehiane, Philomena E.; Omoniwa, Omowunmi; Omoregie, Omigie; Jiang, Pan Pan; Yozwiak, Nathan L.; Matranga, Christian B.; Yang, Xiao; Gire, Stephen K.; Winnicki, Sarah; Tariyal, Ridhi; Schaffner, Stephen F.; Okokhere, Peter O.; Okogbenin, Sylvanus; Akpede, George O.; Asogun, Danny A.; Agbonlahor, Dennis E.; Walker, Peter J.; Tesh, Robert B.; Levin, Joshua Z.; Garry, Robert F.; Sabeti, Pardis C.; Happi, Christian T.

In: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol. 9, No. 3, e0003631, 17.03.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Stremlau, MH, Andersen, KG, Folarin, OA, Grove, JN, Odia, I, Ehiane, PE, Omoniwa, O, Omoregie, O, Jiang, PP, Yozwiak, NL, Matranga, CB, Yang, X, Gire, SK, Winnicki, S, Tariyal, R, Schaffner, SF, Okokhere, PO, Okogbenin, S, Akpede, GO, Asogun, DA, Agbonlahor, DE, Walker, PJ, Tesh, RB, Levin, JZ, Garry, RF, Sabeti, PC & Happi, CT 2015, 'Discovery of Novel Rhabdoviruses in the Blood of Healthy Individuals from West Africa', PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, vol. 9, no. 3, e0003631. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003631
Stremlau, Matthew H. ; Andersen, Kristian G. ; Folarin, Onikepe A. ; Grove, Jessica N. ; Odia, Ikponmwonsa ; Ehiane, Philomena E. ; Omoniwa, Omowunmi ; Omoregie, Omigie ; Jiang, Pan Pan ; Yozwiak, Nathan L. ; Matranga, Christian B. ; Yang, Xiao ; Gire, Stephen K. ; Winnicki, Sarah ; Tariyal, Ridhi ; Schaffner, Stephen F. ; Okokhere, Peter O. ; Okogbenin, Sylvanus ; Akpede, George O. ; Asogun, Danny A. ; Agbonlahor, Dennis E. ; Walker, Peter J. ; Tesh, Robert B. ; Levin, Joshua Z. ; Garry, Robert F. ; Sabeti, Pardis C. ; Happi, Christian T. / Discovery of Novel Rhabdoviruses in the Blood of Healthy Individuals from West Africa. In: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2015 ; Vol. 9, No. 3.
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