Research Article: Characterization of Three New Insect-Specific Flaviviruses: Their Relationship to the Mosquito-Borne Flavivirus Pathogens

Date Published: February 05, 2018

Publisher: The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Author(s): Hilda Guzman, Maria Angelica Contreras-Gutierrez, Amelia P. A. Travassos da Rosa, Marcio R. T. Nunes, Jedson F. Cardoso, Vsevolod L. Popov, Katherine I. Young, Chelsea Savit, Thomas G. Wood, Steven G. Widen, Douglas M. Watts, Kathryn A. Hanley, David Perera, Durland Fish, Nikos Vasilakis, Robert B. Tesh.


Three novel insect-specific flaviviruses, isolated from mosquitoes collected in Peru, Malaysia (Sarawak), and the United States, are characterized. The new viruses, designated La Tina, Kampung Karu, and Long Pine Key, respectively, are antigenically and phylogenetically more similar to the mosquito-borne flavivirus pathogens, than to the classical insect-specific viruses like cell fusing agent and Culex flavivirus. The potential implications of this relationship and the possible uses of these and other arbovirus-related insect-specific flaviviruses are reviewed.

Partial Text

During the past two decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the discovery and characterization of novel insect-specific viruses (ISVs).1–3 This has coincided with advances in molecular tools for virus detection and the growing interest in insect microbiomes. Many of the new ISVs appear to be members of the family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, and are common in insect populations in nature, with a worldwide geographic distribution.

The results of this study confirm that the ISFs can be divided into two distinct groups.3 The first and most numerous group is the cISVs (this group includes viruses such as CFAV, KRV, Calbertado, CxFV, and Palm Creek (Table 1). In the flavivirus phylogenetic tree shown in Figure 3, the cISVs form a divergent branch from the main tree. The cISVs also show little or no antigenic relationship with the flavivirus vertebrate pathogens in the main tree.




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