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© Research
Publication : Virus evolution

Discovery of flavivirus-derived endogenous viral elements in Anopheles mosquito genomes supports the existence of Anopheles-associated insect-specific flaviviruses

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Virus evolution - 05 Jan 2017

Lequime S, Lambrechts L

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 28078104

Virus Evol 2017 Jan;3(1):vew035

The Flavivirus genus encompasses several arboviruses of public health significance such as dengue, yellow fever, and Zika viruses. It also includes insect-specific flaviviruses (ISFs) that are only capable of infecting insect hosts. The vast majority of mosquito-infecting flaviviruses have been associated with mosquito species of the Aedes and Culex genera in the Culicinae subfamily, which also includes most arbovirus vectors. Mosquitoes of the Anophelinae subfamily are not considered significant arbovirus vectors; however, flaviviruses have occasionally been detected in field-caught Anopheles specimens. Whether such observations reflect occasional spillover or laboratory contamination or whether Anopheles mosquitoes are natural hosts of flaviviruses is unknown. Here, we provide in silico and in vivo evidence of transcriptionally active, flavivirus-derived endogenous viral elements (EVEs) in the genome of Anopheles minimus and Anopheles sinensis. Such non-retroviral endogenization of RNA viruses is consistent with a shared evolutionary history between flaviviruses and Anopheles mosquitoes. Phylogenetic analyses of the two newly described EVEs support the existence of a distinct clade of Anopheles-associated ISFs.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28078104