New species of virus spread by ticks discovered in Japan
Symptoms include fever.
Scientists have isolated a new orthonairovirus in two patients with acute febrile illness ( fever) after a tick bite in Hokkaido.
Orthoniroviruses & nbsp; are tick-borne viruses belonging to the genus Orthonairovirus, family Nairoviridae. Sometimes they cause diseases with & nbsp; fatal outcomes in & nbsp; humans and & nbsp; animals.
Of the & nbsp; 15 species of this genus, four species are known human pathogens: Crimean Congolese hemorrhagic fever virus, Nairobi sheep disease virus, Dugbe virus and & nbsp; Kasokero virus. The recently discovered ortonairovirus, called the Yezo virus & nbsp; (YEZV), is the causative agent of acute febrile illness.
“Up to & nbsp; at least seven people have been infected with this new virus in & nbsp; Japan since & nbsp; 2014,” said Dr. Keita Matsuno, a virologist at the & nbsp; International Zoonoses Institute, Hokkaido University.
The Yezo virus was discovered after a 41-year-old man was admitted to the hospital in & nbsp; 2019 with fever and & nbsp; leg pain after being bitten by an arthropod, probably a tick.
“In & nbsp; mid-May 2019, he & nbsp; about & nbsp; 4 hours a forest near & nbsp; Sapporo. On & nbsp; the next day, he & nbsp; noticed and & nbsp; removed an arthropod that had attached to & nbsp; the right side of his abdomen. Four days after visiting the forest, & nbsp; his temperature rose above 39 degrees, followed by a violation of the gait and & nbsp; pain in the & nbsp; legs, & nbsp; – said the researchers.
“After the fever lasted 4 days, he & nbsp; was hospitalized in our hospital with & nbsp; a temperature of 38.9 degrees. On admission, the systems analysis was negative, with the & nbsp; exception of fever, loss of appetite and & nbsp; bilateral pain in the & nbsp; lower extremities, & nbsp; – added the doctors.
The patient was treated and & nbsp; was discharged after two weeks, but & nbsp; tests showed that he & nbsp; was not & nbsp; infected with any known tick-borne viruses.
A second patient presented with similar symptoms following a tick bite the following year.
“The patient was a 59-year-old previously healthy male with no significant medical history living in Sapporo, Hokkaido. In & nbsp; mid-July 2020, he hiked a mountain near & nbsp; Sapporo. During the & nbsp; hike, he & nbsp; got a bite in the & nbsp; shin from & nbsp; an unknown arthropod that remained attached for & nbsp; less than 30 minutes, & nbsp; – said the scientists.
9 days after the hike, when he & nbsp; lost his appetite, and & nbsp; then his temperature rose to & nbsp; 37.4 degrees for & nbsp; 17 days after the hike.
“After two visits to different hospitals at & nbsp; 3- th and & nbsp; 4th days after the onset of fever, where & nbsp; he was found to have fever & nbsp; (38.5 degrees on & nbsp; 3rd day) with & nbsp; leukopenia and & nbsp; thrombocytopenia, he & nbsp; visited our hospital on & nbsp; 5th day onset of the disease “, & nbsp; – said the doctors.
Genetic analysis of viruses isolated from & nbsp; blood samples of two patients revealed a new type of orthonairovirus, the closest to the & nbsp; Sulin virus and & nbsp; Tamdi virus found in & nbsp; Romania and & nbsp; Uzbekistan, respectively. To determine the likely source of the virus, the team screened samples collected from & nbsp; wild animals in the & nbsp; area between & nbsp; 2010 and & nbsp; 2020.
They found antibodies to the & nbsp; virus in & nbsp; sika deer and & nbsp; raccoons Hokkaido. They also found viral RNA in & nbsp; three main species of ticks in & nbsp; Hokkaido.
“The Yezo virus appears to be common in Hokkaido, and it is highly likely that the virus causes disease when transmitted to humans from animals through ticks.” – said Dr. Matsuno.
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