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Novel Tick Phlebovirus Genotypes Lacking Evidence for Vertebrate Infections in Anatolia and Thrace, Turkey

Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Microbiology, Hacettepe University, Virology Unit, Ankara 06100, Turkey
Department of Biology, Namık Kemal University, Tekirdağ 33110, Turkey
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Galveston National Laboratory, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, GX 77555, USA
Mersin University, Advanced Technology Education, Research and Application Center, Mersin 33110, Turkey
Robert Koch Institute, Center for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens 1 (ZBS-1), 13353, 13352 Berlin, Germany
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Virology, Ankara University, Ankara 06110, Turkey
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Ankara 06800, Turkey
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Harran University, ŞanlIurfa 63200, Turkey
Biotechnology Institute, Ankara University, Ankara 06560, Turkey
Department of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, USA
Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit, Smithsonian Institution Museum Support Center, Suitland, MD 20746, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(8), 703;
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 1 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Arboviruses)
PDF [5549 KB, uploaded 1 August 2019]


We screened ticks and human clinical specimens to detect and characterize tick phleboviruses and pathogenicity in vertebrates. Ticks were collected at locations in Istanbul (Northwest Anatolia, Thrace), Edirne, Kırklareli, and Tekirdağ (Thrace), Mersin (Mediterranean Anatolia), Adiyaman and Şanlıurfa (Southeastern Anatolia) provinces from 2013–2018 and were analyzed following morphological identification and pooling. Specimens from individuals with febrile disease or meningoencephalitic symptoms of an unknown etiology were also evaluated. The pools were screened via generic tick phlebovirus amplification assays and products were sequenced. Selected pools were used for cell culture and suckling mice inoculations and next generation sequencing (NGS). A total of 7492 ticks were screened in 609 pools where 4.2% were positive. A phylogenetic sequence clustering according to tick species was observed. No human samples were positive. NGS provided near-complete viral replicase coding sequences in three pools. A comprehensive analysis revealed three distinct, monophyletic virus genotypes, comprised of previously-described viruses from Anatolia and the Balkans, with unique fingerprints in conserved amino acid motifs in viral replicase. A novel tick phlebovirus group was discovered circulating in the Balkans and Turkey, with at least three genotypes or species. No evidence for replication in vertebrates or infections in clinical cases could be demonstrated. View Full-Text
Keywords: tick; phlebovirus; species; genotype; bunyavirus; Turkey tick; phlebovirus; species; genotype; bunyavirus; Turkey

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Emanet, N.; Kar, S.; Dinçer, E.; Brinkmann, A.; Hacıoğlu, S.; Farzani, T.A.; Koçak Tufan, Z.; Polat, P.F.; Şahan, A.; Özkul, A.; Nitsche, A.; Linton, Y.-M.; Ergünay, K. Novel Tick Phlebovirus Genotypes Lacking Evidence for Vertebrate Infections in Anatolia and Thrace, Turkey. Viruses 2019, 11, 703.

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