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The genus Nyavirus includes three species. Based on the genomic structure and phylogeny, Sierra Nevada virus (SNVV), Nyamanini virus (NYMV), and Midway virus (MIDWV) are closely related (Mihindukulasuriya et al., 2009, Rogers et al., 2014). Based on PASC analysis, the SNVV genomic sequence is about 50% identical to NYMV and MIDWV genomes, whereas the identity between NYMV and MIDWV is closer (≈63%).
Virions are enveloped and spherical with a diameter of 100–130 nm (Figure 1.Nyamiviridae).
Unsegmented, single stranded, negative sense RNA.
Nyavirus genomes encode six structural proteins. Among them, the nucleocapsid protein (N), glycoprotein (G), and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (L) protein are identified on the basis of sequence similarity and structural properties shared with mononegavirus homologues. The functions of the other encoded proteins are largely unknown, but may be those of matrix and polymerase cofactor proteins (Mihindukulasuriya et al., 2009).
Nyavirus negative-sense, single-stranded RNA genomes range from 11.6–11.8 kb (Figure 2.Nyamiviridae). Nyaviruses have unsegmented genomes with six ORFs that encode the structural proteins (Mihindukulasuriya et al., 2009, Rogers et al., 2014). Knowledge of nyavirus replication is limited. Nyamanini virus replicates in the nucleus of infected cells (Herrel et al., 2012).
SNVV is antigenically distinct from MIDWV and NYMV when tested in complement fixation tests, whereas MIDWV and NYMV are serologically related (Mihindukulasuriya et al., 2009, Rogers et al., 2014).
Although NYMV and MIDWV have been isolated from birds of different species and their ticks, it is unclear whether SNVV can also infect birds.
The SNVV genome is about 50% similar to those of NYMV and MIDWV genomes, whereas the nucleotide sequence identity between NYMV and MIDWV is closer (≈63%).
Genus: acronym of the first three letters of “Nyamanini Pan” (place of isolation of Nyamanini virus in South Africa); and -virus (ending denoting a virus genus); Neo-Lat. n. neut. sg. Nyavirus – the genus of nyaviruses. Species: named after the location where species members were first identified.
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