Mokola virus is a rabies-related virus responsible for both animal and human encephalitis cases in Africa. We report here the construction of a genomic library containing overlapping cDNA clones encompassing the entire genome. Five overlapping clones were sufficient to cover the genome (about 12 kb in size). Mokola virus was shown to share the same genomic organization as the rabies virus genome and also identical transcription signals. cDNA probes characterized six different transcripts by Northern blotting experiments; five of them corresponded in size and location to rabies virus mRNAs, and one of particular interest corresponded to a bicistronic RNA which included the genes for the phosphoprotein and the matrix protein. Comparison of the 3′ and 5′ end sequences of the Mokola genome with those of other members of the Lyssavirus genus showed a high homology and led us to propose a genus-specific consensus sequence. However, the latter appeared to vary widely throughout the family.


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