South Bay Virus

April 2019- We don't have much at all to offer other than to say this virus has been found in 22% of ticks studied in New York and Connecticut.

Below are some articles mentioning the South Bay virus, however, there isn't enough information about it to say if the virus can cause symptoms in humans or what treatment might be effective if any.

QUOTE- "We detected Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto in 56.3% of individual ticks, Anaplasma phagocytophilum in 10.6%, Borrelia miyamotoi in 5%, Babesiamicroti in 7.6%, and Powassan virus in 3.6%.

We did not detect Borrelia mayonii, Ehrlichia muris eauclairensis, Bartonella spp. or pathogenic Babesia species other than B. microti. The most abundant bacterium (65%), and only rickettsial species identified, was the endosymbiont Rickettsia buchneri.

A filarial nematode was found in 13.7% of adult ticks. Fourteen viruses were detected including South Bay virus (22%) and blacklegged tick phlebovirus 1 and 2 (73%).

This study provides insight into the microbial diversity of I. scapularis in New York State and Connecticut." Source

Then there are those who are already looking at what money can be made on this new virus by way of creating another vaccine.

QUOTE- "High transmission rate among lice with broad geographic distribution, and the resulting threat to human and animal health, make this virus a potentially lucrative target."

Patent Pending WO/2016/022958

Tech Ventures Reference: IR CU14095

Lead Inventor- W. Ian Lipkin- A member (fellow) of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)

Center for Infection and Immunity, 722 West 168th Street, Room 1703a

New York NY USA 10032

Phylogenic divergence of South Bay Virus reduces competition from existing vaccines, promoting market exclusivity

A unique feature of the newly discovered South Bay Virus is its dissimilarity to known nairoviruses. The South Bay Virus is the first member of a new clade of nairoviruses, showing at most 26% similarity to other members of the genus. Such phylogenic divergence means that existing vaccines likely do not already target the South Bay Virus, potentially allowing new therapies to command market exclusivity and face little to no competition in the marketplace. Source

QUOTE- "The genus Nairovirus (family Bunyaviridae) is comprised of 37 tick-borne viruses. Its genome consists of three segments of negative-sense single-stranded RNA, designated small (S), medium (M), and large (L), that encode the nucleocapsid protein (N), the envelope glycoproteins (Gn and Gc), and an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (L), respectively (33).

Both I. scapularis [tick] pools contained multiple contigs with sequences similar to viruses in the genus Nairovirus by BLASTx. Assembly of these Nairovirus-like contigs, using CCHFV as a reference genome, provided >90% coverage of the S and L segments.

The complete segments were obtained by overlapping PCR and 3′ and 5′ RACE. The assembled sequences showed low similarity to other members of the genus, suggesting that this virus, provisionally named South Bay virus (SBV) after its geographic location, represents a novel nairovirus species. We also obtained the complete S and L sequences from an individual SBV-positive tick (designated SBV H38)." Source

QUOTE- "Out of 24 adult I. scapularis from Heckscher State Park, 12 (50%) were positive by PCR for BTPV-1 or BTPV-2 (Table 4). We screened 12 D. variabilis ticks collected on Fire Island, NY, approximately 16 miles southeast of Heckscher State Park, and identified 9 ticks positive for ADTPV (75%). We obtained complete S and L sequences from two individual I. scapularis ticks (designated BTPV-1 H12 and BTPV-2 H5, accession numbers KM048313 to KM048316) and ADTPV sequences from one individual D. variabilis(ADTPV H6, accession numbers KM048311 and KM048312). The nucleotide sequence of all segments from individual ticks were 97% to 99% identical to the sequence obtained by HTS." Source

QUOTE- "We report here the draft genome of a novel nairovirus, Grotenhout virus, isolated from deer ticks (Ixodes ricinus) in Belgium. The genome consists of two segments, L and S, and is most similar to the tick-borne South Bay virus, with amino acid identities ranging from 60 to 64%." Source

QUOTE- "A tBLASTx search of the generated contigs identified 13 contigs, composed of 3,783 reads, that displayed significant similarity to South Bay virus, an unclassified nairovirus (3)." Source

QUOTE- "The genome sequence of Grotenhout virus consists of two segments 14,848 and 3,578 nucleotides in length, representing the L and S segments, respectively. Phylogenetic clustering of this virus with other members of the family Bunyaviridae, based on the coding sequence of the L segment, groups this virus within the genus Nairovirus, with South Bay virus being the most closely related virus. The L segment contains a 4,812-amino acid (aa) polymerase gene displaying 64% amino acid similarity with South Bay virus, while the S segment contains a 551-aa nucleocapsid gene (60% similarity with South Bay virus)." Source

QUOTE- "We identified pairs of tick-infecting microorganisms whose observed co-infection rates were higher or lower than would be expected, or whose RNA levels were positively correlated in co-infected ticks. Many of these co-occurrence and correlation relationships involved two bunyaviruses, South Bay virus and blacklegged tick phlebovirus-1.

These viruses were also the most prevalent microorganisms in the ticks we sampled, and had the highest average RNA levels.

Evidence of associations between microbes included a positive correlation between RNA levels of South Bay virus and Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease agent. These findings contribute to the rationale for experimental studies on the impact of viruses on tick biology and vector competence." Source

Last Updated- April 2019

Lucy Barnes