< Back to previous page


Common occurrence of Belerina virus, a novel paramyxovirus found in Belgian hedgehogs

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Common or European hedgehogs can be found throughout Western Europe. They are known carriers of a variety of parasitic and bacterial pathogens, and have also been shown to carry several viruses, including morbilli-like paramyxoviruses, although the pathogenic and zoonotic potential of some of these viruses has yet to be determined. We report here the discovery of a novel paramyxovirus in Belgian hedgehogs, named Belerina virus. The virus was detected by nanopore sequencing of RNA isolated from hedgehog tissue. Out of 147 animals screened in this study, 57 tested positive for Belerina virus (39%), indicating a high prevalence of this virus in the Belgian hedgehog population. Based on its divergence from other known paramyxovirus species, Belerina virus is thought to represent a new species in the family Paramyxoviridae. Phylogenetic analysis groups Belerina virus together with the bat-borne Shaan virus within the genus Jeilongvirus, although expanding the tree with partial genomes shows Belerina virus forming a separate subclade within this genus, alongside a yet-unnamed paramyxovirus isolated from a greater tube-nosed bat. In summary, we discuss the complete genome sequence of Belerina virus, a putative new paramyxovirus species commonly found in Belgian hedgehogs.
Journal: Scientific Reports
Issue: 1
Volume: 10
Number of pages: 8
Publication year:2020