In 2011, ticks were collected from livestock following an outbreak of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Gujarat state, India. CCHF-negative Hyalomma anatolicum tick pools were passaged for virus isolation, and two virus isolates were obtained, designated Karyana virus (KARYV) and Kundal virus (KUNDV) respectively. Traditional RT-PCR identification of known viruses was unsuccessful, but a next-generation sequencing approach identified KARYV and KUNDV as viruses in the Reoviridae family, Orbivirus, and Coltivirus genera, respectively. Viral genomes were de novo assembled, yielding 10 complete segments of KARYV and 12 nearly complete segments of KUNDV. The VP1 gene of KARYV shared a most recent common ancestor with Wad Medani virus (WMV), strain Ar495, and based on nucleotide identity we demonstrate that it is a novel WMV strain. The VP1 segment of KUNDV shares a common ancestor with Colorado tick fever virus, Eyach virus, Tai Forest reovirus and Tarumizu tick virus from the Coltivirus genus. Based on VP1, VP6, VP7, and VP12 nucleotide and amino acid identity, KUNDV is proposed to be a new species of Coltivirus. Electron microscopy supported the classification of KARYV and KUNDV as reoviruses and identified replication morphology consistent with other Orbi– and Colti– viruses. The identification of novel tick-borne viruses carried by the CCHF vector is an important step in the characterization of their potential role in human and animal pathogenesis.
Importance Ticks, mosquitoes, as well Culicoides, can transmit viruses in the Reoviridae family. With the help of next-generation sequencing (NGS), previously unreported reoviruses such as equine encephalosis virus, Wad Medani virus (WMV), Kammanvanpettai virus (KVPTV) and with this report, KARYV and KUNDV have been discovered and characterized in India. The isolation of KUNDV and KARYV from Hyalomma anatolicum, which is a known vector for zoonotic pathogens, such as Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever virus, Babesia, Theileria and Anaplasma species, identifies arboviruses with the potential to transmit to humans. Characterization of these KUNDV and KARYV isolated from Hyalomma ticks is critical for the development of specific serological and molecular assays that can be used to determine the association of these viruses with disease in humans and livestock.