Genetic characterization of Bagaza virus (BAGV) isolated in India and evidence of anti-BAGV antibodies in sera collected from encephalitis patients
Journal of General Virology
During investigations into the outbreak of encephalitis in 1996 in the Kerala state in India, an arbovirus was isolated from a Culex tritaeniorhynchus mosquito pool. It was characterized as a Japanese encephalitis and West Nile virus cross-reactive arbovirus by complement fixation test. A plaque reduction-neutralization test was performed using hyperimmune sera raised against the plaque-purified arbovirus isolate. The sera did not show reactivity with Japanese encephalitis virus and were weakly
... reactive with West Nile virus. Complete open reading frame sequence analysis characterized the arbovirus as Bagaza virus (BAGV), with 94.80 % nucleotide identity with African BAGV strain DakAr B209. Sera collected from the encephalitic patients during the acute phase of illness showed 15 % (8/53) positivity for anti-BAGV neutralizing antibodies. This is the first report of the isolation of BAGV from India. The presence of anti-BAGV neutralizing antibodies suggests that the human population has been exposed to BAGV. The GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ accession number of the Indian Bagaza virus isolate sequenced in this paper is EU684972. A supplementary figure showing the phylogenetic analysis of BAGV based on nucleocapsid, membrane, non-structural (NS) 1, NS2, NS3, NS4 and NS5 gene sequences is available with the online version of this paper.