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Detection of Entebbe Bat Virus After 54 Years

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  • Arbovirus Diseases Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Biological Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda; Department of Arbovirology, Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe, Uganda

Entebbe bat virus (ENTV; Flaviviridae: Flavivirus), closely related to yellow fever virus, was first isolated from a little free-tailed bat (Chaerephon pumilus) in Uganda in 1957, but was not detected after that initial isolation. In 2011, we isolated ENTV from a little free-tailed bat captured from the attic of a house near where it had originally been found. Infectious virus was recovered from the spleen and lung, and the viral RNA was sequenced and compared with that of the original isolate. Across the polypeptide sequence, there were 76 amino acid substitutions, resulting in 97.8% identity at the amino acid level between the 1957 and 2011 isolates. Further study of this virus would provide valuable insights into the ecological and genetic factors governing the evolution and transmission of bat- and mosquito-borne flaviviruses.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Rebekah C. Kading, Genesis Laboratories, P.O. Box 1195, Wellington, CO 80549. E-mail: rcmosquito@gmail.com

Financial support: This work was funded by an interagency agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and the United States Agency for International Development.

Authors' addresses: Rebekah C. Kading, Genesis Laboratories, Inc., Wellington, CO, E-mail: rcmosquito@gmail.com. Robert Kityo, Department of Biological Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, E-mail: kityrob@gmail.com. Teddie Nakayiki and Julius Lutwama, Department of Arbovirology, Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe, Uganda, E-mails: nakayikiteddie@yahoo.com and jjlutwama03@yahoo.com. Jeremy Ledermann, Mary B. Crabtree, and Barry R. Miller, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, CDC, Fort Collins, CO, E-mails: bpj7@cdc.gov, meb3@cdc.gov, and brm4@cdc.gov.

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