Malpais spring virus is a new species in the genus vesiculovirus

Nikos Vasilakis, Steven Widen, Amelia P.A. Travassos Da Rosa, Thomas G. Wood, Peter J. Walker, Edward C. Holmes, Robert B. Tesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Malpais Spring virus (MSPV) is a mosquito-borne rhabdovirus that infects a variety of wild and feral ungulates in New Mexico, including horses and deer. Although, initial serologic tests and electron microscopy at the time of isolation nearly 25 years ago provided evidence that MSPV is a novel virus, possibly related to vesiculoviruses, the virus still has not been approved as a new species. Findings: Use of the illumina platform allowed us to obtain the complete genome of MSPV. Analysis of the complete 11019 nt genome sequence of the prototype 85-488NM strain of MSPV indicates that it encodes the five common rhabdovirus structural proteins (N, P, M, G and L) with alternative ORFs (> 180 nt) in the N, M and G genes, including a 249 nt ORF in the G gene predicted to encode a 9.26 kDa highly basic transmembrane protein. Although antigenically very distant, phylogenetic analysis of the L gene indicates that MSPV is most closely related to Jurona virus, also isolated from mosquitoes in Brazil, as well as a number of other vesiculoviruses. Conclusions: In sum, our analysis indicates MSPV should be classified as a member of the genus Vesiculovirus, family Rhabdoviridae. The complete genome sequence of MSPV will be helpful in the development of a reverse genetics system to study the unique aspects of this vesiculovirus in vivo and in vitro, and will assist development of specific diagnostic tests to study the epidemiology of MSPV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number69
JournalVirology journal
StatePublished - 2014


  • Family rhabdoviridae
  • Genome sequence
  • Genus vesiculovirus
  • Malpais spring virus (MSPV)
  • Phylogeny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Malpais spring virus is a new species in the genus vesiculovirus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this