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Genome characterization of Long Island tick rhabdovirus, a new virus identified in Amblyomma americanum ticks

Rafal Tokarz*, Stephen Sameroff, Maria Sanchez Leon, Komal Jain and W Ian Lipkin

Author Affiliations

Center for Infection and Immunity, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 West 168th Street, Room 1701, New York, NY 10032, USA

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Virology Journal 2014, 11:26  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-11-26

Published: 11 February 2014

Abstract

Background

Ticks are implicated as hosts to a wide range of animal and human pathogens. The full range of microbes harbored by ticks has not yet been fully explored.

Methods

As part of a viral surveillance and discovery project in arthropods, we used unbiased high-throughput sequencing to examine viromes of ticks collected on Long Island, New York in 2013.

Results

We detected and sequenced the complete genome of a novel rhabdovirus originating from a pool of Amblyomma americanum ticks. This virus, which we provisionally name Long Island tick rhabdovirus, is distantly related to Moussa virus from Africa.

Conclusions

The Long Island tick rhabdovirus may represent a novel species within family Rhabdoviridae.

Keywords:
Ticks; Rhabdovirus; High-throughput sequencing; Amblyomma americanum