Comparative Molecular and Epidemiological Analyses of Israeli Bluetongue Viruses Serotype 1 and 9 Causing Outbreaks in 2018–2020

Natalia Golender*, Eyal Klement, Anita Kovtunenko, Boris Even-Tov, Lior Zamir, Eitan Tiomkin, Gabriel Kenigswald, Bernd Hoffmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Israel is endemic to bluetongue virus (BTV). The introduction of novel-for-the-region arboviruses have been recorded annually in recent years. In 2019, previously non-reported in-the-country BTV-1 and BTV-9 were identified. BTV-1 caused a single-season outbreak, probably linked to mild infection in ruminants. BTV-9 was retrospectively detected in the field samples collected from August 2018 until 2020. It was the dominant serotype in 2019, out of the six serotypes recorded during that calendar year. Clinical manifestation of the disease in cases diagnosed with BTV-9 were compared to those in cases determined to have BTV-1. BLAST and phylogenetic analyses of BTV-1 showed that the nucleotide (nt) sequence coding the viral outer protein 1 (VP2) determining the serotype is closely related to BTV-1 isolated in Sudan in 1987, and the coding sequence of the outer protein 2 (VP5) is related to South African BTV-1 from 2017. A probable common ancestor with Libyan BTV-9 strains isolated in 2008 was seen in an analysis of Israeli BTV-9 nt sequences. Notably, the outbreak-caused BTV-9 strains collected in 2019 exhibited a distinct level of genetic reassortment with local Israeli strains compared to BTV-9 strains registered in 2018 and 2020.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number366
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the H2020 PALE BLU project, Proposal ID 727393-2.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • Orbivirus
  • Reoviridae
  • bluetongue virus
  • cattle
  • descriptive epidemiology
  • phylogeny
  • ruminants
  • sequencing
  • sheep


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative Molecular and Epidemiological Analyses of Israeli Bluetongue Viruses Serotype 1 and 9 Causing Outbreaks in 2018–2020'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this