In order to better understand the genetic and evolutionary relationships among orthobunyaviruses associated with human disease, we have sequenced the complete genomes for all 3 segments of multiple strains of BWAV (n = 2), PGAV (n = 2) and NDV (n = 4), as well as the previously unclassified Mojuí dos Campos (MDCV) and Kaeng Khoi viruses (KKV). Based on phylogenetic analysis, we show that these viruses populate 2 distinct branches, one made up of BWAV and PGAV and the other composed of NDV, MDCV and KKV. Interestingly, the NDV strains analyzed form two distinct clades which differed by >10% on the amino acid level across all protein products. In addition, the assignment of two bat-associated bunyaviruses into the NDV group, which is clearly associated with mosquito-borne infection, led us to analyze the ability of these different viruses to grow in bat (RE05 and Tb 1 Lu) and mosquito (C6/36) cell lines, and indeed all the viruses tested were capable of efficient growth in these cell types.
Human infection with Bwamba virus (BWAV) and the closely related Pongola virus (PGAV), as well as Nyando virus (NDV), are important causes of febrile illness in Africa. However, despite seroprevalence studies that indicate high rates of infection in many countries, these viruses remain relatively unknown and unstudied. In addition, a number of unclassified bunyaviruses have been isolated over the years often with uncertain relationships to human disease.
On the basis of our analyses, it is proposed to reclassify the NDV strains ERET147 and YM176-66 as a new virus species. Further, our analysis definitively identifies the previously unclassified bunyaviruses MDCV and KKV as distinct species within the NDV group and suggests that these viruses may have a broader host range than is currently appreciated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases