Isolation of a sp. nov. Ljungan virus from wild birds in Japan

The Journal of General Virology
Hiromichi MitakeMakoto Sugiyama


Ljungan virus (LV) has been isolated/detected from rodents in a limited area including European countries and the USA. In this study, we isolated an LV strain from faecal samples of wild birds that had been collected in Japan, and determined the nearly complete sequence of the genome. Sequence analyses showed that the isolate possesses an LV-like genomic organization: 5UTR-VP0-VP3-VP1-2A1-2A2-2B-2C-3A-3B-3C-3D-3UTR. Phylogenetic and similarity analyses based on the VP1 region indicated that the strain constitutes a novel genotype within LV. In addition, we identified species origin of the faeces as gull species by using the DNA barcoding technique. These data suggested that the novel LV strain infected a gull species, in which the virus had not been identified. Taken together, this study has provided the first evidence of the presence of a novel LV in Japan, highlighting the possibility of LV infection in birds.


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