Eel virus European X (EVEX) was first isolated from diseased European eel Anguilla anguilla in Japan at the end of seventies. The virus was tentatively classified into the Rhabdoviridae family on the basis of morphology and serological cross reactivity. This family of viruses is organized into six genera and currently comprises approximately 200 members, many of which are still unassigned because of the lack of molecular data. This work presents the morphological, biochemical and genetic characterizations of EVEX, and proposes a taxonomic classification for this virus. We provide its complete genome sequence, plus a comprehensive sequence comparison between isolates from different geographical origins. The genome encodes the five classical structural proteins plus an overlapping open reading frame in the phosphoprotein gene, coding for a putative C protein. Phylogenic relationship with other rhabdoviruses indicates that EVEX is most closely related to the Vesiculovirus genus and shares the highest identity with trout rhabdovirus 903/87
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