Genetic divergence among members of the kokobera group of flaviviruses supports their separation into distinct species

Fiona J. May, David C. Clark, Kim Pham, Sinéad M. Diviney, David T. Williams, Emma J. Field, Goro Kuno, Gwong Jen Chang, Wai Yuen Cheah, Yin X. Setoh, Natalie A. Prow, Jody Hobson-Peters, Roy A. Hall

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    Abstract

    The Kokobera virus group comprises mosquito-borne flaviviruses that cluster together phylogenetically. These viruses are unique to Australia and Papua New Guinea, and have been associated with a mild polyarticular disease in humans. Recent isolation of genetically diverse viruses within this group has prompted analysis of their genetic and phenotypic relationships. Phylogenetic analysis based on complete ORF, the envelope gene or the NS5/3' untranslated region supported the separation of the group into distinct species: Kokobera virus (KOKV), Stratford virus, New Mapoon virus, MK7979 and TS5273. Virulence studies in 3-week-old mice also provided the first evidence that a member of the KOKV group (MK7979) was neuroinvasive after intraperitoneal inoculation. In this context, our recent detection of KOKV group-specific antibodies in horses in the field suggests that these viruses should be considered in the epidemiology of flavivirus encephalitis in Australia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1462-1467
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of General Virology
    Volume94
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

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    May, F. J., Clark, D. C., Pham, K., Diviney, S. M., Williams, D. T., Field, E. J., ... Hall, R. A. (2013). Genetic divergence among members of the kokobera group of flaviviruses supports their separation into distinct species. Journal of General Virology, 94, 1462-1467. https://doi.org/10.1099/vir.0.049940-0