A variegated squirrel bornavirus associated with fatal human encephalitis.
N Engl J Med Jul 9, 2015 V.373 P.154-162
Bernd Hoffmann, D.V.M., Dennis Tappe, M.D., Dirk Höper, M.Sc., Christiane Herden, D.V.M., Annemarie Boldt, M.D., Christian Mawrin, M.D., Olaf Niederstraßer, M.D., Tobias Müller, M.D., Maria Jenckel, M.Sc., Elisabeth van der Grinten, D.V.M., Christian Lutter, D.V.M., Björn Abendroth, M.Sc., Jens P. Teifke, D.V.M., Daniel Cadar, D.V.M., Ph.D., Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, M.D., Rainer G. Ulrich, Ph.D., and Martin Beer, D.V.M.
From the Institute of Diagnostic Virology (B.H., D.H., M.J., B.A., M.B.), Department of Experimental Animal Facilities and Biorisk Management (J.P.T.), and Institute of Novel and Emerging Infectious Diseases (R.G.U.), Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Greifswald-Insel Riems, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Arbovirus and Hemorrhagic Fever Reference and Research, Hamburg (D.T., D.C., J.S.-C.), German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Hamburg-Lübeck-Borstel
(D.T., D.C., J.S.-C.), Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Gießen (C.H.), Department of Neurology, Bergmannstrost Hospital (A.B., O.N.), and Department of Neurology, University
Hospital Halle (Saale) (T.M.), Halle (Saale), Institute of Neuropathology, Otto-vonGuericke Universität, Magdeburg (C.M.), State Institute for Consumer Protection of Saxony-Anhalt, Department of Veterinary
Medicine, Stendal (E.v.d.G.), and Special Service for Veterinarian Affairs and Consumer Protection, Salzlandkreis, Bernburg (Saale) (C.L.) — all in Germany. Address reprint requests to Dr. Beer at the Institute of Diagnostic Virology, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, OIE Collaborating Center for Zoonoses in Europe, Südufer 10, 17493 Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany, or at email@example.com .
Between 2011 and 2013, three breeders of variegated squirrels (Sciurus variegatoides) had encephalitis with similar clinical signs and died 2 to 4 months after onset of the clinical symptoms. With the use of a metagenomic approach that incorporated next-generation sequencing and real-time reverse-transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), the presence of a previously unknown bornavirus was detected in a contact squirrel and in brain samples from the three patients. Phylogenetic analyses showed that this virus, tentatively named variegated squirrel 1 bornavirus (VSBV-1), forms a lineage separate from that of the known bornavirus species. (Funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture [Germany] and others.)….
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