Phylogenetic characterization of Orthobunyaviruses isolated from Trinidad shows evidence of natural reassortment


The genus Orthobunyavirus is a diverse group of viruses in the family Peribunyaviridae, recently classified into 20 serogroups, and 103 virus species. Although most viruses within these serogroups are phylogenetically distinct, the absence of complete genome sequences has left several viruses incompletely characterized. Here we report the complete genome sequences for 11 orthobunyaviruses isolated from Trinidad, French Guiana, Guatemala, and Panama that were serologically classified into six serogroups and 10 species. Phylogenetic analyses of these 11 newly derived sequences indicate that viruses belonging to the Patois, Capim, Guama, and Group C serocomplexes all have a close genetic origin. We show that three of the 11 orthobunyaviruses characterized (belonging to the Group C and Bunyamwera serogroups) have evidence of histories of natural reassortment through the M genome segment. Our data also suggests that two distinct lineages of Group C viruses concurrently circulate in Trinidad and are transmitted by the same mosquito vectors. This study also highlights the importance of complementing serological identification with nucleotide sequencing when characterizing orthobunyaviruses.



Orthobunyavirus, Arbovirus ecology, Arbovirus evolution, Reassortment, Mosquito surveillance