Identifying viruses in synanthropic animals is necessary for understanding the origin of many viruses that can infect human hosts and developing strategies to prevent new zoonotic infections. The white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus, is one of the most abundant rodent species in the northeastern United States. We characterized the serum virome of 978 free-ranging P. leucopus mice caught in Pennsylvania. We identified many new viruses belonging to 26 different virus families. Among these viruses was a highly divergent segmented flavivirus whose genetic relatives were recently identified in ticks, mosquitoes, and vertebrates, including febrile humans. This novel flavi-like segmented virus was found in rodents and shares <70% aa identity with known viruses in the highly conserved region of the viral polymerase. Our data will enable researchers to develop molecular reagents to further characterize this virus and its relatives infecting other hosts and to curtail their spread, if necessary.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases