Characterization of Eptesipoxvirus, a novel poxvirus from a microchiropteran bat
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The genome of Eptesipoxvirus (EPTV) is the first poxvirus genome isolated from a microbat. The 176,688 nt sequence, which is believed to encompass the complete coding region of the virus, is 67% A+T and is predicted to encode 191 genes. 11 of these genes have no counterpart in GenBank and are therefore unique to EPTV. The presence of a distantly related ortholog of Vaccinia virus F5L in EPTV uncovered a link with fragmented F5L orthologs in Molluscum contagiosum virus/squirrelpox and clade II viruses. Consistent with the unique position of EPTV approximately mid-point between the orthopoxviruses and the clade II viruses, EPTV has 11 genes that are specific to the orthopoxviruses and 13 genes that are typical, if not exclusive, to the clade II poxviruses. This mosaic nature of EPTV blurs the distinction between the old description of the orthopoxvirus and clade II groups. Genome annotation and characterization failed to find any common virulence genes shared with the other poxvirus isolated from bat (pteropoxvirus); however, EPTV encodes 3 genes that may have been transferred to or from deerpox and squirrelpox viruses; 2 of these, a putative endothelin-like protein and a MHC class I-like protein are likely to have immunomodulatory roles.
KeywordsPoxvirus Next-generation sequencing NGS Batpox Eptesipoxvirus
We thank the many University of Victoria students that helped build the Viral Bioinformatics Resource Centre, and Chad Smithson for all the knowledge he has provided. CU received an award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) (Discovery Grant No. 04953) to support this work.
The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The following conceived of, or designed the study (GLE, DSC, YL, CU), performed research (SLT, YN, JG, KW, NGR), analyzed data (SLT, YN, JG), and wrote the manuscript (SLT, GLE, CU, YN).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
No human subjects were involved in this study.
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