Analysis of the complete genome of the tick-borne flavivirus Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus

Di Lin, Li Li, Daryl Dick, Robert E. Shope, Heinz Feldmann, Alan D.T. Barrett, Michael R. Holbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus (OHF) is a tick-borne flavivirus endemic to Western Siberia. This virus is the only known tick-borne flavivirus to cause hemorrhagic disease in humans in the absence of encephalitis. OHF virus circulates within a small, defined niche in which other tick-borne complex flaviviruses are also present. The objectives of this study were to genetically classify OHF virus based on its complete genome and to identify genetic determinants that might be involved in tissue tropism and viral replication leading to the disease state caused by this virus. The OHF virus genome was sequenced and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that OHF virus falls within the tick-borne encephalitis serocomplex of flaviviruses, yet is distinct from other members of the complex, including those closely associated geographically. OHF is also distinct from Alkhurma (ALK) and Kyasanur forest disease (KFD) viruses, both of which cause disease that includes hemorrhagic and encephalitic manifestations. Several amino acid residues were found to be distinct among OHF, KFD, and ALK viruses; these residues include E-76, which is closely associated with the viral envelope protein fusion peptide. In addition, variation between the viral 5′-untranslated region of OHF and other tick-borne flaviviruses suggests potential variability in viral replication. These data demonstrate that OHF is a unique virus among the tick-borne flaviviruses and also provide insight to viral biodiversity and tropism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 15 2003


  • Flavivirus
  • Genome sequence
  • Omsk hemorrhagic fever
  • Tick-borne encephalitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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