Jos Virus

The Jos Virus belongs to the Thogotoviruses and that makes it a direct relative of the Influenza viruses because all are part of the larger family of Orthomyxoviruses. The genus Togotoviruses has five distinct members: Thogoto Virus, Dhori Virus, Araguari Virus, Batken Virus, Jos Virus, Upolu Virus and Aransas Bay Virus.

The Jos Virus is the latest addition to the an growing family of Influenza-related viruses. In fact, it has been discovered so recently that even Wikipedia did not mention it (until I added it).

Jos virus derives it name from the city Jos in Central Nigeria. There it was originally isolated[1] from cow serum (Bos indicus) in 1967. Thereafter, the virus was repeatedly isolated[2] from Amblyomma and Rhipicephalus ticks collected in Ethiopia, Guinea, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal. Studies of the field infection rate in ticks in the Central African Republic and Ethiopia found the prevalence to be 3 and 1%, respectively.
However, Jos Virus had remained unclassified until 2011 when scientists reported[3] evidence that the virus is an Orthomyxovirus, distinct from but phylogenetically related to viruses of the genus Thogotovirus.

Its similarity with other viruses within the Thogotoviruses supports the possibility that Jos Virus should be considered a potential human pathogen. Initial efforts to characterize the pathology of Jos Virus in infected suckling mice showed acute cell necrosis in the liver, lymph nodes, bone marrow and spleen. Similar findings have been reported in reported in mice experimentally infected with Dhori Virus and with highly pathogenic influenza viruses, suggesting a common pathogenesis for all of these orthomyxoviruses.

[1] Lee et al: Jos, a new tick-borne virus from Nigeria in American Journal of Veterinary Research - 1974
[2] Wood et al: Crimean-congo hemorrhagic fever, Thogoto, dugbe, and Jos viruses isolated from ixodid ticks in Ethiopia in American Journal of Tropical Medicin and Hygiene - 1978
[3] Bussetti et al: Genomic and antigenic characterization of Jos virus in Journal of General Virology - 2011

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