J Gen Virol. 2013 Jul;94(Pt 7):1462-7. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.049940-0. Epub 2013 Feb 20.
Genetic divergence among members of the Kokobera group of flaviviruses supports their separation into distinct species.
May FJ, Clark DC, Pham K, Diviney SM, Williams DT, Field EJ, Kuno G, Chang GJ, Cheah WY, Setoh YX, Prow NA, Hobson-Peters J, Hall RA.
SourceAustralian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia 4072, Queensland, Australia.
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.
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