Genome and phylogeny
The genome of LASV is composed by 2 ambisense segments: the smaller segment (S) codes for the glycoprotein precursor and the nucleoprotein, and the larger segment (L) codes for the polymerase and the matrix protein. The coding regions are separated by an intergenic region with a strong secondary structure, and are flanked by non-coding regions. In 2000, Bowen et al. proposed a classification of the different strains with a phylogeny based on the GP, NP and polymerase. They suggested the existence of four lineages; 3 in Nigeria and 1 in the Sierra Leone-Liberia-Guinea.
Discovery of new hosts
In 2014, we discovered two new hosts: Mastomys erythroleucus in Guinea and in Nigeria, and Hylomyscus pamfi in Nigeria. In 2013 and 2019, we described the pygmy mouse, Mus (Nannomys) baoulei, as a possible carrier of a new LASV lineage in Ghana and in Benin (Figure 6).