This paper describes the isolation and molecular identification of a novel paramyxovirus found during an investigation of an outbreak of neurorespiratory disease in a collection of Australian pythons. Using Illumina® high-throughput sequencing, a 17,187 nucleotide sequence was assembled from RNA extracts from infected viper heart cells (VH2) displaying widespread cytopathic effects in the form of multinucleate giant cells. The sequence appears to contain all the coding regions of the genome, including the following predicted paramyxoviral open reading frames (ORFs): 3'--Nucleocapsid (N)--putative Phosphoprotein (P)--Matrix (M)--Fusion (F)--putative attachment protein--Polymerase (L)--5'. There is also a 540 nucleotide ORF between the N and putative P genes that may be an additional coding region. Phylogenetic analyses of the complete N, M, F and L genes support the clustering of this virus within the family Paramyxoviridae but outside both of the current subfamilies: Paramyxovirinae and Pneumovirinae. We propose to name this new virus, Sunshine virus, after the geographic origin of the first isolate--the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia.
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