Citation Dilcher M, Faye O, Faye O, Weber F, Koch A, Sadegh C, Weidmann M & Sall AA (2015) Zahedan rhabdovirus, a novel virus detected in ticks from Iran. Virology Journal, 12 (1), Art. No.: 183. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12985-015-0410-5
Abstract Background: Rhabdoviridaeinfect a wide range of vertebrates, invertebrates and plants. Their transmission can occur via various arthropod vectors. In recent years, a number of novel rhabdoviruses have been identified from various animal species, but so far only few tick-transmitted rhabdoviruses have been described.
Methods: We isolated a novel rhabdovirus, provisionally named Zahedan rhabdovirus (ZARV), fromHyalomma anatolicum anatolicumticks collected in Iran. The full-length genome was determined using 454 next-generation sequencing and the phylogenetic relationship to other rhabdoviruses was analyzed. Inoculation experiments in mammalian Vero cells and mice were conducted and a specific PCR assay was developed.
Results: The complete genome of ZARV has a size of 11,230 nucleotides (nt) with the typical genomic organization ofRhabdoviridae. Phylogenetic analysis confirms that ZARV is closely related to Moussa virus (MOUV) from West Africa and Long Island tick rhabdovirus (LITRV) from the U.S., all forming a new monophyletic clade, provisionally designatedZamolirhabdovirus, within theDimarhabdovirussupergroup. The glycoprotein (G) contains 12 conserved cysteins which are specific for animal rhabdoviruses infecting fish and mammals. In addition, ZARV is able to infect mammalian Vero cells and is lethal for mice when inoculated intracerebrally or subcutaneously. The developed PCR assay can be used to specifically detect ZARV.
Conclusion: The novel tick-transmitted rhabdovirus ZARV is closely related to MOUV and LITRV. All three viruses seem to form a new monophyletic clade. ZARV might be pathogenic for mammals, since it can infect Vero cells, is lethal for mice and its glycoprotein contains 12 conserved cysteins only found in animal rhabdoviruses. The mammalian host of ZARV remains to be identified.