Citation Faye M, Faye O, Diagne MM, Fall G, Weidmann M, Sembene M, Sall AA & Faye O (2018) Full-genome characterization and genetic evolution of West African isolates of Bagaza virus. Viruses, 10 (4), Art. No.: 193. https://doi.org/10.3390/v10040193
Abstract Bagaza virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, first isolated in 1966 in Central African Republic. It has currently been identified in mosquito pools collected in the field in West and Central Africa. Emergence in wild birds in Europe and serological evidence in encephalitis patients in India raise questions on its genetic evolution and the diversity of isolates circulating in Africa. To better understand genetic diversity and evolution of Bagaza virus, we describe the full-genome characterization of 11 West African isolates, sampled from 1988 to 2014. Parameters such as genetic distances, N-glycosylation patterns, recombination events, selective pressures, and its codon adaptation to human genes are assessed. Our study is noteworthy for the observation of N-glycosylation and recombination in Bagaza virus and provides insight into its Indian origin from the 13th century. Interestingly, evidence of Bagaza virus codon adaptation to human house-keeping genes is also observed to be higher than those of other flaviviruses well known in human infections. Genetic variations on genome of West African Bagaza virus could play an important role in generating diversity and may promote Bagaza virus adaptation to other vertebrates and become an important threat in human health.