Kotonkan and Obodhiang viruses: African ephemeroviruses with large and complex genomes

Kim R. Blasdell, Rhonda Voysey, Dieter Bulach, D. Albert Joubert, Robert B. Tesh, David B. Boyle, Peter J. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Kotonkan virus (KOTV) and Obodhiang virus (OBOV) are rhabdoviruses that were isolated from arthropods in Africa and formerly classified as lyssaviruses. KOTV causes clinical bovine ephemeral fever in cattle; the ecology and pathogenicity of OBOV is poorly understood. In this paper, we report the complete genome sequences of KOTV and OBOV, their gene expression profiles, and their serological and phylogenetic relationships to other rhabdoviruses. The 15,870 nt KOTV genome (3'-l-N-P-M-G-G NS-α1-α2-β-γ-δ-L-t-5') is similar to that of bovine ephemeral fever virus but encodes an additional protein (δ) that shares homology with the pleckstrin homology domain of coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase. The 14,717 nt OBOV genome (3'-l-N-P-M-G-G NS-α1-α2-β-L-t-5') is similar to that of Adelaide River virus from which it is distinguishable serologically. In each virus, all ORFs, except α1 and α2, are transcribed as monocistronic mRNA. Genetic and serological data indicate that KOTV and OBOV should be classified as new species in the genus Ephemerovirus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-153
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 10 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Ephemerovirus
  • Gene expression
  • Genome sequence
  • Kotonkan virus
  • Obodhiang virus
  • Rhabdovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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