Novel RNA viruses associated with Plasmodium vivax in human malaria and Leucocytozoon parasites in avian disease

Autoři: Justine Charon aff001;  Matthew J. Grigg aff002;  John-Sebastian Eden aff001;  Kim A. Piera aff002;  Hafsa Rana aff004;  Timothy William aff003;  Karrie Rose aff007;  Miles P. Davenport aff008;  Nicholas M. Anstey aff002;  Edward C. Holmes aff001
Působiště autorů: Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, Charles Perkins Centre, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia aff001;  Global and Tropical Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research and Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia aff002;  Infectious Disease Society Kota Kinabalu Sabah – Menzies School of Health Research Clinical Research Unit, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia aff003;  Centre for Virus Research, Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia aff004;  Clinical Research Centre – Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia aff005;  Gleneagles Hospital, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia aff006;  Australian Registry of Wildlife Health, Taronga Conservation Society Australia, Mosman, New South Wales, Australia aff007;  Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia aff008
Vyšlo v časopise: Novel RNA viruses associated with Plasmodium vivax in human malaria and Leucocytozoon parasites in avian disease. PLoS Pathog 15(12): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1008216
Kategorie: Research Article


Eukaryotes of the genus Plasmodium cause malaria, a parasitic disease responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality in humans. Yet, the nature and abundance of any viruses carried by these divergent eukaryotic parasites is unknown. We investigated the Plasmodium virome by performing a meta-transcriptomic analysis of blood samples taken from patients suffering from malaria and infected with P. vivax, P. falciparum or P. knowlesi. This resulted in the identification of a narnavirus-like sequence, encoding an RNA polymerase and restricted to P. vivax samples, as well as an associated viral segment of unknown function. These data, confirmed by PCR, are indicative of a novel RNA virus that we term Matryoshka RNA virus 1 (MaRNAV-1) to reflect its analogy to a "Russian doll": a virus, infecting a parasite, infecting an animal. Additional screening revealed that MaRNAV-1 was abundant in geographically diverse P. vivax derived from humans and mosquitoes, strongly supporting its association with this parasite, and not in any of the other Plasmodium samples analyzed here nor Anopheles mosquitoes in the absence of Plasmodium. Notably, related bi-segmented narnavirus-like sequences (MaRNAV-2) were retrieved from Australian birds infected with a Leucocytozoon—a genus of eukaryotic parasites that group with Plasmodium in the Apicomplexa subclass hematozoa. Together, these data support the establishment of two new phylogenetically divergent and genomically distinct viral species associated with protists, including the first virus likely infecting Plasmodium parasites. As well as broadening our understanding of the diversity and evolutionary history of the eukaryotic virosphere, the restriction to P. vivax may be of importance in understanding P. vivax-specific biology in humans and mosquitoes, and how viral co-infection might alter host responses at each stage of the P. vivax life-cycle.

Klíčová slova:

Birds – Mosquitoes – Parasitic diseases – Plasmodium – Protozoan infections – RNA viruses – Sequence alignment – Sequence motif analysis


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