Data from: High herpesvirus diversity in wild rodent and shrew species in central Africa
Ntumvi, Nkom Felix et al. (2019), Data from: High herpesvirus diversity in wild rodent and shrew species in central Africa, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7880kj7
Objective: Herpesviruses belong to a diverse order of large DNA viruses that can cause diseases in humans and animals. With the goal of gathering information about the distribution and diversity of herpesviruses in wild rodent and shrew species in central Africa, animals in Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were sampled and tested by PCR for the presence of herpesvirus DNA. Methods: A broad range PCRs targeting either the Polymerase or the terminase gene were used for virus detection. Amplified products from PCR were sequenced and isolates analysed for phylogenetic placement. Results: Overall, samples of 1,004 animals of various rodent and shrew species were tested and 24 were found to be positive for herpesvirus DNA. Six of these samples contained strains of known viruses, while the other positive samples revealed DNA sequences putatively belonging to 11 previously undescribed herpesviruses. The new isolates are beta- and gammaherpesviruses and the shrew isolates appear to form a separate cluster within the Betaherpesvirinae subfamily. Conclusion: The diversity of viruses detected is higher than in similar studies in Europe and Asia. The high diversity of rodent and shrew species occurring in central Africa may be the reason for a higher diversity in herpesviruses in this area.