Isolation of a novel orthobunyavirus from bat flies (Eucampsipoda africana)

Petrus Jansen Van Vuren, Michael R. Wiley, Gustavo Palacios, Nadia Storm, Wanda Markotter, Monica Birkhead, Alan Kemp, Janusz T. Paweska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The Bunyaviridae family comprises viruses causing diseases of public and veterinary health importance, including viral haemorrhagic and arboviral fevers. We report the isolation, identification and genome characterization of a novel orthobunyavirus, named Wolkberg virus (WBV), from wingless bat fly ectoparasites (Eucampsipoda africana) of Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) in South Africa. Complete genome sequence data of WBV suggests it is most closely related to two bat viruses (Mojuí dos Campos and Kaeng Khoi viruses) and an arbovirus (Nyando virus) previously shown to infect humans. WBV replicates to high titres in VeroE6 and C6-36 cells, characteristic of mosquito-borne arboviruses. These findings expand our knowledge of the diversity of orthobunyaviruses and their insect vector host range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number000753
Pages (from-to)935-945
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Arbovirus
  • Bat flies
  • Bunyaviridae
  • Egyptian fruit bat
  • Eucampsipoda africana
  • Orthobunyavirus
  • Pathogen discovery
  • Rousettus aegyptiacus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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