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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



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.


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.


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.


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

Ticks; Rhabdovirus; High-throughput sequencing; Amblyomma americanum