Overlooked emerging pathogens
California Serogroup Viruses are a collection of genetically related but serologically distinct arboviruses (Family: Peribunyaviridae; Genus: Orthobunyavirus) transmitted between susceptible mammalian species through the bite of an infected mosquito. Several members within the group are associated with significant human disease including California encephalitis virus (CEV), La Crosse virus (LACV), Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV), Inkoo virus (INKV), Snowshoe hare virus (SSHV), Tahyna virus (TAHV) and Chatanga virus (CHATV). Pathogenic members of this group can be found in most regions of the world including Europe, N. America, Asia and Africa.
These often-overlooked viruses deserve significant research not only to establish the true incidence of human infection (which is undoubtedly underestimated), but also due to their emergent potential. As these viruses are transmitted between mammalian hosts via infected mosquitoes, there is potential for climate change to expand the endemic region of susceptible vector species and increase the possibility of spillover into the human population. In addition, these viruses have a segmented genome with potential for reassortment with other orthobunyaviruses. These reassortment events do not appear to be common, but there is precedent with Ngari virus (NRIV) which has two segments from Bunyamwera virus (BUNV) and one segment from Batai virus (BATV); while both BUNV and BATV are associated with only mild febrile illness, NRIV can cause haemorrhagic disease demonstrating the unpredictable outcome of reassortment events.
NCPV currently offers several California Serogroup Viruses including TAHV, INKV, and LACV, with accessions for CEV, JCV and SSHV anticipated to become available mid-2020. BATV, BUNV and NRIV are also available within the collection (NB: SSHV, LACV and NRIV are Hazard Group 3 viruses). NCPV is also available to offer advice and information on how to culture and detect these viruses, and as always, NCPV would be delighted to hear from researchers who can add to this collection.
Prepared by Barry Atkinson.
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