Genetic characterization of epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus strains isolated from cattle in Israel

William C. Wilson*, Mark G. Ruder, Eyal Klement, Dane C. Jasperson, Hagai Yadin, David E. Stallknecht, Daniel G. Mead, Elizabeth Howerth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV), a member of the genus Orbivirus not reported previously in Israel, was isolated from Israeli cattle during a ‘bluetongue-like’ disease outbreak in 2006. To ascertain the origin of this new virus, three isolates from the outbreak were fully sequenced and compared with available sequences. Whilst the L2 gene segment clustered with the Australian EHDV serotype 7 (EHDV-7) reference strain, most of the other segments were clustered with EHDV isolates of African/Middle East origin, specifically Bahrain, Nigeria and South Africa. The M6 gene had genetic relatedness to the Australian/Asian strains, but with the limited data available the significance of this relationship is unclear. Only one EHDV-7 L2 sequence was available, and as this gene encodes the serotype-specific epitope, the relationship of these EHDV-7 L2 genes to an Australian EHDV-7 reflects the serotype association, not necessarily the origin. The genetic data indicated that the strains affecting Israel in 2006 may have been related to similar outbreaks that occurred in North Africa in the same year. This finding also supports the hypothesis that EHDV entered Israel during 2006 and was not present there before this outbreak.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1400-1410
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of General Virology
StatePublished - 2015

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