Molecular characterization of the African orthobunyavirus Ilesha virus

Karin Pachler, Daniel Růžek, Norbert Nowotny*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Ilesha virus is an arthropod-borne virus belonging to the genus Orthobunyavirus of the Bunyaviridae family. Ilesha virus has been isolated from humans in several African countries, mostly in relation with febrile illness and erythema, though there are reported cases of fatal meningoencephalitis and hemorrhagic fever.In the present study, we report the complete genomic sequence of all three Ilesha virus segments (S, M, L) and characterize the open reading frames. The nucleoprotein encoded by segment S contains 59 conserved orthobunyavirus amino acids putatively critical for protein function. For the polyprotein encoded by segment M, potential proteolytic cleavage sites and N-glycosylation sites as well as conserved cysteines are described in reference to other orthobunyaviruses. Within the C terminal glycoprotein Gc a putative fusion peptide could be localized. In the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase encoded by segment L, all strictly conserved amino acids within the four conserved regions known to be catalytically active are present.Phylogenetic analyses conducted for each Ilesha virus genomic segment confirm the classification of Ilesha virus within the Bunyamwera serogroup of orthobunyaviruses. Ilesha virus segments S and L exhibit highest genetic conservation with Bunyamwera virus and Ngari virus, with maximum sequence identities of 88% for segment S and 82% for segment L. However, the M segment was found to be more diverse with a maximum nucleotide identity of 72% to Bunyamwera serogroup viruses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-130
Number of pages7
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Genome characterization
  • Ilesha virus
  • Orthobunyavirus
  • Phylogenetic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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