The first isolation and whole genome sequencing of murray valley encephalitis virus from cerebrospinal fluid of a patient with encephalitis

Jessica S. Russell, Leon Caly, Renata Kostecki, Sarah L. McGuinness, Glen Carter, Dieter Bulach, Torsten Seemann, Tim P. Stinear, Rob Baird, Mike Catton, Julian Druce

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Murray Valley Encephalitis virus (MVEV) is amosquito-borne Flavivirus. Clinical presentation is rare but severe, with a case fatality rate of 15–30%. Here we report a case of MVEV from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of a patient in the Northern Territory in Australia. Initial diagnosis was performed using both MVEV-specific real-time, and Pan-Flavivirus conventional, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), with confirmation by Sanger sequencing. Subsequent isolation, the first from CSF, was conducted in Vero cells and the observed cytopathic effect was confirmed by increasing viral titre in the real-time PCR. Isolation allowed for full genome sequencing using the Scriptseq V2 RNASeq library preparation kit. A consensus genome for VIDRL-MVE was generated and phylogenetic analysis identified it as Genotype 2. This is the first reported isolation, and full genome sequencing of MVEV from CSF. It is also the first time Genotype 2 has been identified in humans. As such, this case has significant implications for public health surveillance, epidemiology, and the understanding of MVEV evolution.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number319
    Number of pages9
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2018


    • Cerebrospinal fluid
    • Flavivirus
    • Isolation
    • Murray Valley encephalitis
    • Whole genome sequencing

    Cite this