Niakha virus: A novel member of the family Rhabdoviridae isolated from phlebotomine sandflies in Senegal

Nikos Vasilakis, Steven Widen, Sandra V. Mayer, Robert Seymour, Thomas G. Wood, Vsevolov Popov, Hilda Guzman, Amelia P A Travassos da Rosa, Elodie Ghedin, Edward C. Holmes, Peter J. Walker, Robert B. Tesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Members of the family Rhabdoviridae have been assigned to eight genera but many remain unassigned. Rhabdoviruses have a remarkably diverse host range that includes terrestrial and marine animals, invertebrates and plants. Transmission of some rhabdoviruses often requires an arthropod vector, such as mosquitoes, midges, sandflies, ticks, aphids and leafhoppers, in which they replicate. Herein we characterize Niakha virus (NIAV), a previously uncharacterized rhabdovirus isolated from phebotomine sandflies in Senegal. Analysis of the 11,124. nt genome sequence indicates that it encodes the five common rhabdovirus proteins with alternative ORFs in the M, G and L genes. Phylogenetic analysis of the L protein indicate that NIAV's closest relative is Oak Vale rhabdovirus, although in this analysis NIAV is still so phylogenetically distinct that it might be classified as distinct from the eight currently recognized Rhabdoviridae genera. This observation highlights the vast, and yet not fully recognized diversity, of this family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-89
Number of pages10
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Complement fixation
  • Niakha virus (NIAV)
  • Phlebotomine sandflies
  • Rhabdoviridae
  • West Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Niakha virus: A novel member of the family Rhabdoviridae isolated from phlebotomine sandflies in Senegal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this