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Whole Genome Analysis of Sierra Nevada Virus, a Novel Mononegavirus in the Family Nyamiviridae

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  • Center for Vaccine Research, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Computational and Systems Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Tsinghua University School of Medicine, Beijing, China; Center for Biodefense and Emerging Diseases and Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas; Center for Tropical Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas; Institute for Human Infections and Immunity, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas

A novel mononegavirus was isolated in 1975 from ticks (Ornithodoros coriaceus) collected during investigation of an outbreak of epizootic bovine abortion (EBA) in northern California. It was originally designated “bovine abortion-tick virus” (BA-T virus). The EBA is now known to be associated with a deltaproteobacterium infection, and not a virus. The BA-T virus had remained uncharacterized until now. We have determined by electron microscopy, serology, and genome sequencing that the BA-T virus is a fourth member of the newly proposed family Nyamiviridae, and we have renamed it Sierra Nevada virus (SNVV). Although antigenically distinct, phylogenetically SNVV is basal to Nyamanini virus (NYMV) and Midway virus (MIDWV), two other tick-borne agents. Although NYMV was found to infect land birds, and MIDWV seabirds, it is presently unknown whether SNVV naturally infects birds or mammals.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Elodie Ghedin, NYU-Biology, 100 Washington Square East, 1009 Silver Center New York, NY 10003. E-mail: elodie.ghedin@nyu.edu

Financial support: LC is a visiting scholar from Tsinghua University and supported in part by the China Scholarship Council. This work was also supported in part by NIH contract HHSN272201000040I/HHSN270004 (RBT), the Department of Pathology start-up funds, and a grant from the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity, University of Texas Medical Branch (NV).

Disclosure: The GenBank accession no. for the Sierra Nevada virus is KF530058. Animal use reported in this work was done under protocol no. 9505045, approved by the IACUC at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Authors' addresses: Matthew B. Rogers, Center for Vaccine Research, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, and Department of Computational and Systems Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, E-mail: rogersm@pitt.edu. Lijia Cui, Center for Vaccine Research, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, and Tsinghua University School of Medicine, Beijing, China, E-mail: lic80@pitt.edu. Adam Fitch, Center for Vaccine Research, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, E-mail: fitcha@pitt.edu. Vsevolod Popov, Nikos Vasilakis, and Robert B. Tesh, Center for Biodefense and Emerging Diseases and Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, Center for Tropical Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, and Institute for Human Infections and Immunity, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, E-mails: vpopov@utmb.edu, nivasila@utmb.edu, and rtesh@utmb.edu. Amelia P. A. Travassos da Rosa, Center for Biodefense and Emerging Diseases and Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, E-mail: aptravas@utmb.edu. Elodie Ghedin, Department of Biology, Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University, New York, NY, E-mail: elodie.ghedin@nyu.edu.

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