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Open AccessArticle

Genome of Alaskapox Virus, a Novel Orthopoxvirus Isolated from Alaska

Poxvirus and Rabies Branch, Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA
Alaska Division of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology, Anchorage, AK 99503, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(8), 708;
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 21 July 2019 / Published: 1 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Since the eradication of smallpox, there have been increases in poxvirus infections and the emergence of several novel poxviruses that can infect humans and domestic animals. In 2015, a novel poxvirus was isolated from a resident of Alaska. Diagnostic testing and limited sequence analysis suggested this isolate was a member of the Orthopoxvirus (OPXV) genus but was highly diverged from currently known species, including Akhmeta virus. Here, we present the complete 210,797 bp genome sequence of the Alaska poxvirus isolate, containing 206 predicted open reading frames. Phylogenetic analysis of the conserved central region of the genome suggested the Alaska isolate shares a common ancestor with Old World OPXVs and is diverged from New World OPXVs. We propose this isolate as a member of a new OPXV species, Alaskapox virus (AKPV). The AKPV genome contained host range and virulence genes typical of OPXVs but lacked homologs of C4L and B7R, and the hemagglutinin gene contained a unique 120 amino acid insertion. Seven predicted AKPV proteins were most similar to proteins in non-OPXV Murmansk or NY_014 poxviruses. Genomic analysis revealed evidence suggestive of recombination with Ectromelia virus in two putative regions that contain seven predicted coding sequences, including the A-type inclusion protein. View Full-Text
Keywords: orthopox; alaskapox; poxvirus; orthopoxvirus; Alaska; phylogenetics; recombination orthopox; alaskapox; poxvirus; orthopoxvirus; Alaska; phylogenetics; recombination
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Gigante, C.M.; Gao, J.; Tang, S.; McCollum, A.M.; Wilkins, K.; Reynolds, M.G.; Davidson, W.; McLaughlin, J.; Olson, V.A.; Li, Y. Genome of Alaskapox Virus, a Novel Orthopoxvirus Isolated from Alaska. Viruses 2019, 11, 708.

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