Volume 71, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


We recently characterized three novel alphaviruses isolated from mosquitoes captured in New South Wales, Australia. Initial cross-neutralization studies revealed antigenic similarity to the Sindbis virus (SINV)–like Whataroa virus (WHAV), heretofore found only in New Zealand. Nucleotide sequence analysis showed that the WHAV-like viruses shared >99% nucleotide sequence similarity with each other, and 96–97% similarity with prototype WHAV. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay reactions of a panel of monoclonal antibodies to SINV showed that the novel WHAV-like viruses displayed identical binding patterns and were antigenically distinct from all SINV isolates examined. Although these viruses displayed a similar binding pattern to prototype WHAV, three monoclonal antibodies discriminated them from the New Zealand virus. Our results suggest that these novel alphaviruses are antigenic variants of WHAV and represent the first reported isolations of this virus from outside New Zealand. The monoclonal antibodies used in this study will be useful for typing new SINV and SINV-like isolates.


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  • Received : 21 Oct 2003
  • Accepted : 31 Jan 2004

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