Kolente virus (KOLEV) is a rhabdovirus originally isolated from ticks and a bat in Guinea, West Africa, in 1985. Although tests at the time of isolation suggested that KOLEV is a novel rhabdovirus, it has remained largely uncharacterized. We assembled the complete genome sequence of the prototype strain DakAr K7292, which was found to encode the five canonical rhabdovirus structural proteins (N, P, M, G and L) with alternative ORFs (.180 nt) in the P and L genes. Serologically, KOLEV exhibited a weak antigenic relationship with Barur and Fukuoka viruses in the Kern Canyon group. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that KOLEV represents a distinct and divergent lineage that shows no clear relationship to any rhabdovirus except Oita virus, although with limited phylogenetic resolution. In summary, KOLEV represents a novel species in the family Rhabdoviridae.
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