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Molecular characterization of a new highly divergent Mobala related arenavirus isolated from Praomys sp. rodents

Abstract : Arenaviruses represent a family of viruses that are naturally present in rodents belonging to subfamily Murinae, Neotominae or Sigmodontinae. Except for Lassa virus, little information is available on other Old-World arenaviruses. Here, we describe strain AnRB3214, a virus isolated from a presumed Praomys sp. rodent in the Central African Republic in 1981 and assigned to Ippy virus based on antigenic similarity. The strain was simultaneously sequenced on Illumina NovaSeq 6000 and MinION Mk1B devices and analysed with various bioinformatics tools. We show that the best genome coverage and depth were obtained with the Kaiju and Minimap2 classification and identification tools, on either the MinION or the Illumina reads. The genetic analysis of AnRB3214 fragments showed 68% to 79% similarity with the Mobala and Gairo mammarenaviruses at the nucleic acid level. Strain AnRB3214 had a truncated nucleoprotein smaller than that of other Old World arenaviruses. Molecular clock analysis suggests that this strain diverged from Mobala virus at least 400 years ago. Finally, this study illustrates the importance of genomics in the identification of archived viruses and expands on the diversity of African arenaviruses, because strain AnRB3214 is either a variant or a close relative of Mobala virus, and not Ippy virus.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 18, 2021 - 10:53:12 AM
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Huguette Simo Tchetgna, Stephane Descorps-Declère, Benjamin Selekon, Aurelia Kwasiborski, Mathias Vandenbogaert, et al.. Molecular characterization of a new highly divergent Mobala related arenavirus isolated from Praomys sp. rodents. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 11 (1), pp.10188. ⟨10.1038/s41598-021-88046-5⟩. ⟨pasteur-03264401⟩



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