Journal article Open Access
Kuno, G.; Chang, G.-J. J.
Many members of the genus Flavivirus are the agents of important diseases of humans, livestock, and wildlife. Currently, no complete genome sequence is available for the three African viruses, Bagaza, Zika, and Kedougou viruses, each representing a distinct virus subgroup according to the latest virus classification. In this study, we obtained a complete genome sequence of each of those three viruses and characterized the open reading frames (ORFs) with respect to gene sizes, cleavage sites, potential glycosylation sites, distribution of cysteine residues, and unique motifs. The sequences of the three viruses were then scanned across the entire length of the ORF against available sequences of other African flaviviruses and selected reference viruses for genetic relatedness. The data collectively indicated that Kedougou virus was close to dengue viruses but nonetheless distinct, while Bagaza virus shared genetic relatedness with West Nile virus in several genomic regions. In the non-coding regions, it was found that a particular organizational pattern of conserved sequences in the 3' terminal region generally correlated with the current virus grouping.