Identification of novel orthonairoviruses from rodents and shrews in Gabon, Central Africa

Takehiro Ozeki, Haruka Abe, Yuri Ushijima, Chimène Nze-Nkogue, Etienne F. Akomo-Okoue, Ghislain W.E. Ella, Lilian B.M. Koumba, Branly C.B.B. Nso, Rodrigue Mintsa-Nguema, Patrice Makouloutou-Nzassi, Boris K. Makanga, Fred L.M. Nguelet, Georgelin N. Ondo, Marien J.V.M. Mbadinga, Yui Igasaki, Sayaka Okada, Minato Hirano, Kentaro Yoshii, Bertrand Lell, Laura C. BonneyRoger Hewson, Yohei Kurosaki, Jiro Yasuda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In Africa, several emerging zoonotic viruses have been transmitted from small mammals such as rodents and shrews to humans. Although no clinical cases of small mammal-borne viral diseases have been reported in Central Africa, potential zoonotic viruses have been identified in rodents in the region. Therefore, we hypothesized that there may be unrecognized zoonotic viruses circulating in small mammals in Central Africa. Here, we investigated viruses that have been maintained among wild small mammals in Gabon to understand their potential risks to humans. We identified novel orthonairoviruses in 24.6% of captured rodents and shrews from their kidney total RNA samples. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the novel viruses, Lamusara virus (LMSV) and Lamgora virus, were closely related to Erve virus, which was previously identified in shrews of the genus Crocidura and has been suspected to cause neuropathogenic diseases in humans. Moreover, we show that the LMSV ovarian tumour domain protease, one of the virulence determination factors of orthonairoviruses, suppressed interferon signalling in human cells, suggesting the possible human pathogenicity of this virus. Taken together, our study demonstrates the presence of novel orthonairoviruses that may pose unrecognized risks of viral disease transmission in Gabon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number001796
JournalJournal of General Virology
Volume103
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), JP20jm0110013 and JP20jm0210072, and KAKENHI from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), JP17KK0170 and JP21K10415.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), JP20jm0110013 and JP20jm0210072, and KAKENHI from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), JP17KK0170 and JP21K10415. We thank Ms Miku Takano (Nagasaki University) and Ms Izumi Suzumori (Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA) for management of logistics, material transportation and linguistic support. We are also grateful to all staff in the Department of Emerging Infectious Diseases of Nagasaki University, CERMEL, IRET and JICA for their support and encouragement. We would also like to thank Editage (www.editage.com) for English language editing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors.

Keywords

  • Gabon
  • Orthonairovirus
  • novel virus
  • small mammals
  • surveillance
  • virus screening

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of novel orthonairoviruses from rodents and shrews in Gabon, Central Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this