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Genomic characterization of a novel poxvirus from a flying fox: evidence for a new genus?

O'Dea, M.A.ORCID: 0000-0002-2757-7585, Tu, S-L, Pang, S., De Ridder, T., Jackson, B.ORCID: 0000-0002-8622-8035 and Upton, C. (2016) Genomic characterization of a novel poxvirus from a flying fox: evidence for a new genus? Journal of General Virology, 97 (9). pp. 2363-2375.

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The carcass of an Australian little red flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus) which died following entrapment on a fence was submitted to the laboratory for Australian bat lyssavirus exclusion testing, which was negative. During post-mortem, multiple nodules were noted on the wing membranes, and therefore degenerate PCR primers targeting the poxvirus DNA polymerase gene were used to screen for poxviruses. The poxvirus PCR screen was positive and sequencing of the PCR product demonstrated very low, but significant, similarity with the DNA polymerase gene from members of the Poxviridae family. Next-generation sequencing of DNA extracted from the lesions returned a contig of 132 353 nucleotides (nt), which was further extended to produce a near full-length viral genome of 133 492 nt. Analysis of the genome revealed it to be AT-rich with inverted terminal repeats of at least 1314 nt and to contain 143 predicted genes. The genome contains a surprisingly large number (29) of genes not found in other poxviruses, one of which appears to be a homologue of the mammalian TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) gene. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the poxvirus described here is not closely related to any other poxvirus isolated from bats or other species, and that it likely should be placed in a new genus.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Society for General Microbiology
Copyright: © 2016 The Authors.
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