Enhanced arbovirus surveillance with deep sequencing: Identification of novel rhabdoviruses and bunyaviruses in Australian mosquitoes
ABSTRACT Viral metagenomics characterizes known and identifies unknown viruses based on sequence similarities to any previously sequenced viral genomes. A metagenomics approach was used to identify virus sequences in Australian mosquitoes causing cytopathic effects in inoculated mammalian cell cultures. Sequence comparisons revealed strains of Liao Ning virus (Reovirus, Seadornavirus), previously detected only in China, livestock-infecting Stretch Lagoon virus (Reovirus, Orbivirus), two novel dimarhabdoviruses, named Beaumont and North Creek viruses, and two novel orthobunyaviruses, named Murrumbidgee and Salt Ash viruses. The novel virus proteomes diverged by ≥50% relative to their closest previously genetically characterized viral relatives. Deep sequencing also generated genomes of Warrego and Wallal viruses, orbiviruses linked to kangaroo blindness, whose genomes had not been fully characterized. This study highlights viral metagenomics in concert with traditional arbovirus surveillance to characterize known and new arboviruses in field-collected mosquitoes. Follow-up epidemiological studies are required to determine whether the novel viruses infect humans.
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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.
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ABSTRACT: RNA viruses exhibit substantial structural, ecological and genomic diversity. However, genome size in RNA viruses is likely limited by a high mutation rate, resulting in the evolution of various mechanisms to increase complexity while minimising genome expansion. Here we conduct a large-scale analysis of the genome sequences of 99 animal rhabdoviruses, including 45 genomes which we determined de novo, to identify patterns of genome expansion and the evolution of genome complexity. All but seven of the rhabdoviruses clustered into 17 well-supported monophyletic groups, of which eight corresponded to established genera, seven were assigned as new genera, and two were taxonomically ambiguous. We show that the acquisition and loss of new genes appears to have been a central theme of rhabdovirus evolution, and has been associated with the appearance of alternative, overlapping and consecutive ORFs within the major structural protein genes, and the insertion and loss of additional ORFs in each gene junction in a clade-specific manner. Changes in the lengths of gene junctions accounted for as much as 48.5% of the variation in genome size from the smallest to the largest genome, and the frequency with which new ORFs were observed increased in the 3' to 5' direction along the genome. We also identify several new families of accessory genes encoded in these regions, and show that non-canonical expression strategies involving TURBS-like termination-reinitiation, ribosomal frame-shifts and leaky ribosomal scanning appear to be common. We conclude that rhabdoviruses have an unusual capacity for genomic plasticity that may be linked to their discontinuous transcription strategy from the negative-sense single-stranded RNA genome, and propose a model that accounts for the regular occurrence of genome expansion and contraction throughout the evolution of the Rhabdoviridae.PLoS Pathogens 02/2015; 11(2):e1004664. DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004664 · 8.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In the present review article epidemiology of Japanese encephalitis, disease incidences and its control measures have been described in detail. Among important reasons of JE outbreak are registered demographic clustering, ecological imbalance, and insecticide resistance in target mosquito species, poor economy, lack of socio cultural environment and timely therapeutics. Other complex reasons are negative anthropogenic activities like mixed agro-pig farming practices, paddy farming and sanitation. Water contamination led to the spillovers of the virus from its wildlife reservoir into pig population as well as other vertebrate hosts. This article also explains emergence of new mutant variants/ new genotypes /ecological strains of JE virus and its spread in endemic to non-endemic areas. Due to re-circulation of virus among various hosts and insect vectors, disease is causing vey high mortality and morbidity in rural and suburban endemic areas. In addition, presence of revertants in overlapping generations of virus joins and reorganizes distanced epidemiology in the area. It has led to induction of high sero-conversion rate in patients. Present review aims to explain all the reasons of JE epidemics, and justify need of proper surveillance, rapid diagnosis, long term safer immunization, vector control and socio-clinical management of JE infection. This article emphasized an urgent need of potential immunization, implementation of planning to improve economic, environmental and socio-cultural conditions. It also strongly indicates need of regular surveillance and immunization of JE affected population to maintain high therapeutic standards to control JE epidemics.