Characterization of Bombali Virus, a New Bat Filovirus
47 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2022 Publication Status: Review CompleteMore...
Bombali virus (BOMV), a new ebolavirus, has been genetically identified in insectivorous bats Mops condylurus and Chaerephon pumilus in equatorial Africa. Filoviruses cause recurrent outbreaks of severe, high-mortality disease in humans. To characterize and assess BOMV’s potential virulence, we isolated infectious virus using reverse genetics. We found BOMV morphologically indistinguishable from Ebola virus (EBOV), infected human cells and primary human macrophages, and efficiently used M. condylurus Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) over human NPC1 to enter cells. We found functional complementation between BOMV and EBOV replicase proteins using human host factors in a minigenome system. Both BOMV and EBOV induced proinflammatory genes while inhibiting expression of key macrophage receptors important to controlling phagocytosis and antigen presentation. Unlike EBOV, however, BOMV failed to induce an antiviral response. Here, we provide foundational characterization of a new bat-borne ebolavirus and its potential as a human pathogen.
Keywords: Bombali virus, Ebola virus, NPC1, interferon antagonist, antiviral and monoclonal therapeutics, reverse genetics, host transcription and pathway analysis, bat viruses
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