During the course of tick-borne virus surveillance in Japan, three independent isolates of probably the same virus were obtained from three geographically distant populations of the hard tick Haemaphysalis flava. Genome analyses of the three isolates demonstrated that they were closely related but distinct strains of a novel virus, designated Tarumizu tick virus (TarTV), which has a genome of 12 double-stranded RNA segments. The development of the virus-induced cytopathic effects on BHK cells significantly varied according to virus strains. Ten out of 12 segments of TarTV appeared to encode putative orthologs or functional equivalents of viral proteins of Colorado tick fever virus (CTFV) and Eyach virus, suggesting that TarTV is the third member of the genus Coltivirus in the family Reoviridae. This was supported by the facts that the 5′- and 3′-terminal consensus sequences of coltivirus genomes were found also in TarTV genome, and segment 9 of TarTV had sequence and structural features that may mediate a stop codon read-through as observed in that of CTFV. However, segment 7 and 10 of TarTV had no significant sequence similarities to any other proteins of known coltiviruses. Electron microscopic analysis demonstrated that TarTV particle had a non-enveloped bilayer icosahedral structure, and viral inclusion bodies were formed in infected cells. TarTV could infect and replicate in several mammalian cell lines tested, but show no clinical symptoms in intracerebrally inoculated mice. Taken together, our findings provide new insights into genetic diversity and evolution of the genus Coltivirus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research
- Infectious Diseases