Oz Virus

Orthomyxoviruses harbour a family of viruses which also includes the feared Influenza viruses. And, yet again, scientists have found a novel virus that will expand that family.

The Oz virus was isolated from a hard tick, Amblyomma testudinarium, that was 'caught' in Ehime Prefecture in Japan[1].
No, this is not a virus that has been named after the wizard of Oz, but honours the Japanese city of Ōzu (大洲市 Ōzu-shi), located in the Ehime Prefecture where the tick was caught.

After testing the Oz Virus was found to be closely related to the Bourbon Virus, a virus pathogenic to humans, discovered recently in the United States. Oz virus caused high mortality in suckling mice after intracerebral inoculation.

The tick itself is endemic in large areas of Southeast Asia. Adults parasitize various larger mammals such as buffalo and cattle, but also are known to attack humans[2].

[1] Ejiri et al: Characterization of a novel thogotovirus isolated from Amblyomma testudinarium ticks in Ehime, Japan: A significant phylogenetic relationship to Bourbon virus in Virus Research – 2018
[2] Kim et al: A Case of Amblyomma testudinarium Tick Bite in a Korean Woman in Korean Journal of Parasitology - 2010

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