Emergence of epidemic O'nyong-nyong fever in Uganda after a 35-year absence: genetic characterization of the virus

Virology. 1998 Dec 5;252(1):258-68. doi: 10.1006/viro.1998.9437.


O'nyong-nyong (ONN) virus is an alphavirus (family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus) classified in the Semliki Forest virus (SFV) antigenic complex. ONN was initially isolated in northern Uganda in 1959 during the early stages of an explosive arbovirus epidemic in which > 2 million cases were reported. No additional epidemics or human isolations of ONN were reported until 1996, when it was isolated from an epidemic in southern Uganda. We report the complete nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequence of one of these 1996-1997 ONN isolates (SG650) and that of the related alphavirus Igbo Ora virus. The data indicate that the recent ONN virus isolate is closely related to the previously published ONN strain isolated in 1959. In addition, phylogenetic analysis of the sequence data reveals that Igbo Ora virus, previously thought to be a separate virus closely related to ONN and Chikungunya (CHIK), clearly is a strain of ONN. The sequence data also reveal that unlike the published ONN (1959) sequence, all ONN strains from the 1996-1997 epidemic possess a stop codon at the nsp3-nsp4 junction.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alphavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Alphavirus Infections / virology*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chikungunya virus / classification
  • Chikungunya virus / genetics*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Culicidae
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Uganda / epidemiology
  • Vero Cells

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF079456
  • GENBANK/AF079457