Virus Genes

, Volume 53, Issue 6, pp 856–867 | Cite as

Characterization of Eptesipoxvirus, a novel poxvirus from a microchiropteran bat

  • Shin-Lin Tu
  • Yoshinori Nakazawa
  • Jinxin Gao
  • Kimberly Wilkins
  • Nadia Gallardo-Romero
  • Yu Li
  • Ginny L. Emerson
  • Darin S. Carroll
  • Chris UptonEmail author


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.


Poxvirus 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.

Author contributions

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.

Ethics statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

No human subjects were involved in this study.

Supplementary material

11262_2017_1485_MOESM1_ESM.docx (218 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 217 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and MicrobiologyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.The National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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