The Bunyaviridae family is currently composed of five genera, including Phlebovirus, in which several phleboviruses are associated with human diseases. Using high-throughput sequencing, we obtained and characterized one complete genome of the Arumowot virus (AMTV) isolated in 1978 from Turdus libonyanus, the Kurrichane Thrush, in the Central African Republic (CAR). The genomic segment of the new strain of AMTV isolated in the CAR had 75.4-83.5% sequence similarity and 82-98.4% amino acid similarity to the prototype sequence of AMTV. The different conserved proteins of the small (S) and large (L) segments (Nc, NSP, and RNA polymerase) showed close similarity at the amino acid level, whereas the polyprotein of the medium (M) segment was highly divergent, with 18% and 37.7%, respectively, for the prototype sequence of AMTV and the Odrenisrou virus (ODRV) isolated from Culex (Cx.) albiventris mosquitoes in the Tai forest, Ivory Coast. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the sequence homology analysis and indicated that AMTV-CAR clustered into the Salehabad virus antigenic complex. The two closest viruses were the prototype sequences of AMTV originally isolated from Cx. antennatus mosquitoes and ODRV. These molecular data suggest the need for a deep genetic characterization of the diversity of this viral species to enhance its detection in the Central African region and to understand better its behavior and life cycle so that its potential spread to the human population can be prevented.
Keywords: Arumowot virus; Central Africa; Unclassified phlebovirus.