The authors used a combination of whole-genome sequencing and classical viral isolation methods to identify novel nairoviruses from bats captured from a cave in Zambia.
They found that this nairovirus infection is highly prevalent among the giant leaf-nosed bats, Hipposideros gigas with the virus being detected in samples from 16 bats out of 38. Whole-genome analysis of three of the viral isolates (11SB17, 11SB19 and 11SB23) demonstrated a typical bunyavirus trisegmented genome. These strains were found to have formed a single phylogenetic clade that is divergent from other known nairoviruses and has now been given the designation Leopards Hill virus (LPHV). When this virus was injected intraperitoneally into mice, the 11SB17 strain was found to cause only slight body weight loss, while the 11SB23 strain leads to an acute lethal disease that resembles Crimean–Congo haemorrhagic fever in humans. Therefore the authors propose that their LPHV mouse model can be used for research on the pathogenesis of nairoviral haemorrhagic disease.
Click here to read more.