A novel rhabdovirus associated with acute hemorrhagic fever in central Africa

PLoS Pathog. 2012 Sep;8(9):e1002924. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002924. Epub 2012 Sep 27.


Deep sequencing was used to discover a novel rhabdovirus (Bas-Congo virus, or BASV) associated with a 2009 outbreak of 3 human cases of acute hemorrhagic fever in Mangala village, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Africa. The cases, presenting over a 3-week period, were characterized by abrupt disease onset, high fever, mucosal hemorrhage, and, in two patients, death within 3 days. BASV was detected in an acute serum sample from the lone survivor at a concentration of 1.09 × 10(6) RNA copies/mL, and 98.2% of the genome was subsequently de novo assembled from ≈ 140 million sequence reads. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that BASV is highly divergent and shares less than 34% amino acid identity with any other rhabdovirus. High convalescent neutralizing antibody titers of >1:1000 were detected in the survivor and an asymptomatic nurse directly caring for him, both of whom were health care workers, suggesting the potential for human-to-human transmission of BASV. The natural animal reservoir host or arthropod vector and precise mode of transmission for the virus remain unclear. BASV is an emerging human pathogen associated with acute hemorrhagic fever in Africa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Female
  • Genome, Viral
  • Hemorrhagic Fevers, Viral / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fevers, Viral / transmission
  • Hemorrhagic Fevers, Viral / virology*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Rhabdoviridae Infections / epidemiology
  • Rhabdoviridae Infections / pathology
  • Rhabdoviridae Infections / transmission
  • Rhabdoviridae Infections / virology*
  • Rhabdoviridae* / classification
  • Rhabdoviridae* / genetics
  • Rhabdoviridae* / immunology
  • Rhabdoviridae* / isolation & purification


  • Antibodies, Viral

Associated data

  • GENBANK/JX297815