Novel flavivirus or new lineage of West Nile virus, Central Europe

Tamás Bakonyi, Zdenek Hubálek, Ivo Rudolf, Norbert Nowotny*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

200 Citations (Scopus)


A flavivirus (strain 97-103) was isolated from Culex pipens mosquitoes in 1997 following floods in South Moravia, Czech Republic. The strain exhibited close antigenic relationship to West Nile virus (WNV) prototype strain Eg-101 in a cross-neutralization test. In this study, mouse pathogenicity characteristics and the complete nucleotide and putative amino acid sequences of isolate 97-103, named Rabensburg virus (RabV) after a nearby Austrian city, were determined. RabV shares only 75%-77% nucleotide identity and 89%-90% amino acid identity with representative strains of WNV lineages 1 and 2. Another RabV strain (99-222) was isolated in the same location 2 years later; it showed >99% nucleotide identity to strain 97-103. Phylogenetic analyses of RabV, WNV strains, and other members of the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) complex clearly demonstrated that RabV is either a new (third) lineage of WNV or a novel flavivirus of the JEV group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-231
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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