Subfamily: Alpharhabdovirinae

Genus: Alpharicinrhavirus


Distinguishing features

Viruses assigned to the genus Alpharicinrhavirus form a distinct monophyletic group based on well-supported Maximum Likelihood or Maximum Clade Credibility trees inferred from complete L sequences. Members of the genus have been detected in hard ticks (family Ixodidae). They are distant phylogenetically from viruses assigned to the genus Betaricinrhavirus.



Viruses assigned to the genus have not yet been isolated or visualized by electron microscopy.

Nucleic acid

Alpharicinrhavirus genomes consist of a single molecule of negative-sense, single-stranded RNA and range from approximately 10.5–11.9 kb (Li et al., 2015, Sameroff et al., 2019).


Alpharicinrhavirus N, P, M, G and L proteins share sequence homology and/or structural characteristics with the cognate proteins of other rhabdoviruses. Wuhan tick virus 1 (WhTV-1; species Alpharicinrhavirus wuhan) appears to lack a gene encoding the class I transmembrane glycoprotein (G). Alignment of the G proteins of other alpharicinrhaviruses with the G protein of vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus indicates they share all 12 conserved cysteine residues that are typical of animal rhabdovirus G proteins (Walker and Kongsuwan 1999, Roche et al., 2006).

Genome organisation and replication

Alpharicinrhavirus genomes include only the five genes (N, P, M, G and L) encoding the structural proteins (Figure 1. Alpharicinrhavirus). The absence of the G gene in two samples of WhTV-1 collected in different locations and at different times appears to indicate this is a genuine gene deletion rather than a sequencing artifact. Alternative small ORFs (>180 nt) occur in some genes. It is not known if they are expressed but small ORFs in P and L genes of the two available samples of WhTV-1 are conserved.


Figure 1. Alpharicinrhavirus. Schematic representation of genome organisations of alpharicinrhaviruses. The five long open reading frames (ORFs) in the N, P, M, G and L genes are shown (open arrows).

Bole tick virus 2 (species Alpharicinrhavirus bole) was detected in hard ticks (Hyalomma asiaticum) collected in Bole, Xinjiang Province, China, in 2012 (Li et al., 2015). WhTV-1 was detected in hard ticks (Rhipicephalus microplus) collected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in 2012 (Li et al., 2015). A second sample of WhTV-1 (also named Rhipicephalus associated rhabdo-like virus) was detected in hard ticks (R. microplus) collected in Yunnan Province, China, in 2016 (Shi et al., 2021). WhTV-1 was also detected in hard ticks (R. microplus) collected from cattle in Nan Province, Thailand, in 2012 (Temmam et al., 2019). Blanchseco virus (species Alpharicinrhavirus blanchseco) was detected in a pool of hard ticks (Amblyomma ovale) collected from dogs from the Caribbean island of Trinidad, in 2017 (Sameroff et al., 2019). No isolates are currently available for any of these viruses.

Species demarcation criteria

Viruses assigned to different species within the genus have several of the following characteristics: A) minimum amino acid sequence divergence of 10% in the N proteins; B) minimum amino acid sequence divergence of 10% in the L proteins; C) minimum amino acid sequence divergence of 15% in the G proteins; D) significant differences in genome organisation as evidenced by numbers and locations of ORFs; E) can be distinguished in virus neutralisation tests; and F) occupy different ecological niches as evidenced by differences in arthropod and/ or vertebrate hosts.

Related, unclassified viruses

Virus name

Accession number

Virus abbreviation

Manly virus



Nayan tick rhabdovirus



Tacheng tick virus 3



Virus names and virus abbreviations are not official ICTV designations.