Complete genome analysis and virulence characteristics of the Louisiana West Nile virus strain LSU-AR01
West Nile virus (WNV) is a member of the Flaviriridae family, which can cause significant morbidity and mortality in birds, horses, and humans. The WNV-LSU-AR01 strain was isolated from a dead blue jay in Louisiana in 2001. Phylogenetic analysis using 75 full WNV genomes revealed that the LSU-AR01 strain belongs to a distinct subclade among the North American strains. The LSU-AR01 strain differed from the NY-99 prototypic strain by 26 nucleotides causing six amino acid changes. An asparagine-to-lysine change was located immediately proximal to a known CD8(+)T cell epitope in NS4B, while a glutamine-to-lysine change was located within a predicted CD8(+)T cell epitope in NS5. The LSU-AR01 strain caused pronounced neuronal necrosis, perivascular cuffing and gliosis in comparison to the NY-99-infected mice. These results suggest that the previously identified Connecticut strains may contain highly neurovirulent strains such as the LSU-AR01 that have spread in North America.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Iyer, A. V., Boudreaux, M. J., Wakamatsu, N., Roy, A. F., Baghian, A., Chouljenko, V. N., & Kousoulas, K. G. (2009). Complete genome analysis and virulence characteristics of the Louisiana West Nile virus strain LSU-AR01. Virus genes, 38 (2), 204-14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11262-008-0321-2