Taxonomy of African horse sickness viruses

  • C. H. Calisher
  • P. P. C. Mertens
Conference paper


Nine distinct genera are currently recognised within the virus family Reoviridae, which include a total of 63 virus groups or species (species = virus group = electropherotype or serogroup), comprising 214 virus serotypes or subtypes, as well as 20 provisional types or subtypes, most of which (149 + 9 tentative) are assigned to the genus Orbivirus [5, 9, 16]. The 19 species of orbiviruses (serogroups), were established principally on antigenic (serologic) grounds but many of these placements have been supported by molecular analyses. This introductory paper defines the taxonomy and classification of these viruses and establishes guidelines for use in other papers to be presented at this symposium and elsewhere.


Virus Isolate Genome Segment Virus Species Bluetongue Virus Outer Capsid Protein 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Erasmus B (1973) The pathogenesis of African horse sickness. In: Bryans JF, Gerber H (eds) Equine-infectious diseases III. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Equine Infectious Diseases, Paris, 1972. Karger, Basel, pp 1–11Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fenner F, Bachmann PA, Gibbs EPJ, Murphy FA, Studdert MJ, White DO (1987) Veterinary virology. Academic Press, Orlando, pp 587–590Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gorman BM (1983) On the evolution of Orbiviruses. Intervirology 20: 169–180PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gould AR (1987) The complete nucleotide sequence of bluetongue virus serotype 1 RNA 3 and a comparison with other geographic serotypes from Australia, South Africa and the United States of America and with other orbivirus isolates. Virus Res 7: 169183Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Holmes IH, Boccardo G, Estes MK, Furuichi MK, Hoshino Y, Joklik WK, McCrae M, Mertens PPC, Milne RG, Samal KSK, Shiata E, Winton JR, Uyeda I (1995) Family, Reoviridae. In: Murphy FA, Fauquet CM, Bishop DHL, Ghabrial SA, Jarvis AW, Martelli GP, Mayo MA, Summers MD (eds) Virus Taxonomy. Classification and Nomenclature of Viruses. Sixth Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. Springer, Wien New York, pp 208–237 (Arch Virol [Suppl] 10 )Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Howell PG (1962) The isolation and identification of further antigenic types of African horse sickness virus. Onderstepoort J Vet Res 29: 139–149Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Laegreid WW (1996) African horse sickness. In: Horzinek MC (ed) Virus infections of vertebrates, vol 6: Studdert MJ (ed) Virus infections of equines. Elsevier, New York, pp 101–123Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    McIntosh BM (1958) Immunological types of horse sickness and their significance in immunization. Onderstepoort J Vet Res 27: 465–538Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mertens PPC et al (in preparation) Family Reoviridae. In: Virus Taxonomy: Classification and Nomenclature of Viruses. Seventh Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of VirusesGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mertens PPC (1994) Orbiviruses and coltiviruses — general features. In: Webster RG, Granoff A (eds) Encyclopaedia of virology. Academic Press, London, pp 941–956Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mertens PPC, Pedley S, Cowley J, Burroughs JN (1987) A comparison of six different bluetongue virus isolates by cross hybridisation of the dsRNA genome segments. Virology 161: 438–447PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mertens PPC, Pedley S, Cowley J, Burroughs JN, Corteyn AH, Jeggo MH, Jennings AM, Gorman BM (1989) Analysis of the roles of bluetongue virus outer capsid proteins VP2 and VP5 in determination of virus serotype. Virology 170: 561–565PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Moss SR, Ayres CM, Nuttall PA (1987) The Great Island subgroup of tick borne orbiviruses represents a single gene pool. J Gen Virol 69: 2721–2727CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Nuttall PA, Moss SR (1989) Genetic reassortment indicates a new grouping for tick borne orbiviruses. Virology 171: 156–161PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Parkes H, Gould AR (1996) Characterization of Wongorr virus, an Australian orbivirus. Virus Res 44: 111–122PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pringle CP (1996) Virus taxonomy 1996 — A Bulletin from the Xth International Congress of Virology in Jerusalem. Arch Virol 41: 2251–2256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Samal SK, El-Hussein A, Holbrook FR, Beaty BJ, Ramig RF (1987) Mixed infection of Culicoides variipennis with bluetongue virus serotypes 10 and 17: evidence for high frequency reassortment in the vector. J Gen Virol 68: 2319–2329PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Samal SK, Livingston CW Jr, McConnell S, Ramig RF (1987) Analysis of mixed infection of sheep with bluetongue virus serotypes 10 and 17: evidence for genetic reassortment in the vertebrate host. J Virol 61: 1086–1091PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Stott JL, Oberst RD, Channell MB, Osburn BI (1987) Genome segment reassortment between two serotypes of bluetongue virus in a natural host. J Virol 61: 2670–2674PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Swanepoel R, Erasmus BJ, Williams R, Taylor MB (1992) Encephalitis and chorioretinitis associated with neurotropic African horse sickness virus infection in laboratory workers. Part III. Virological and serological investigations. S Afr Med J 81: 458–461Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Zeller HG, Karabatsos N, Calisher CH, Digoutte JP, Cropp CB, Murphy FA, Shope RE (1989) Electron microscopic and antigenic studies of uncharacterized viruses III. Evidence suggesting the placement of viruses in the family Reoviridae. Arch Virol 109: 253–261PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. H. Calisher
    • 1
  • P. P. C. Mertens
    • 2
  1. 1.Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases LaboratoryColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Pirbright LaboratoryInstitute for Animal HealthPirbright, Working, SurreyUK

Personalised recommendations