Distribution and phylogenetic analysis of Culex flavivirus in mosquitoes in China
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Culex flavivirus (CxFV) is an insect-specific virus of the genus Flavivirus. CxFV strains have been isolated from Cx. pipiens, Cx. quinquefasciatus, and other Cx. species in Asia, Africa, North America, Central America and South America. CxFV was isolated for the first time in China in 2006. As this is a novel flavivirus, we explored the distribution and genetic characteristics of Culex flavivirus in China. A total of 46,649 mosquitoes were collected in seven provinces between 2004 and 2012 and were analysed in 871 pools. 29 CxFV RNAs from Cx. pipiens, Cx. tritaeniorhynchus, Anopheles Sinensis, and Culex spp. tested positive for CxFV in real-time RT-PCR. 6 CxFV strains were isolated from Cx. species collected in Shandong, Henan, and Shaanxi provinces, while no virus or viral RNA was detected in samples from Sichuan, Chongqing, Hubei, and Fujian. Phylogenetic analysis of the envelope gene indicated that Chinese strains formed a robust subgroup of genotype 1, together with viruses from the United States and Japan. This study demonstrates that the geographic distribution of CxFV in China is widespread, but geographical boundaries to spread are apparent. Our findings suggest that CxFV can infect various mosquito species in nature.
KeywordsWest Nile Virus Japanese Encephalitis Virus Henan Province Amino Acid Sequence Identity Shaanxi Province
We thank the staff of the Shandong and Shaanxi Province Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the local Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Longkou, Qingdao, Zichuan, Heze, Jining, Rizhao, Linyi, Weinan, Yanan and Hanzhong cities and Weishan County) for assistance with the mosquito collection.
This work was supported by grants from the Development Grant of State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control (2014SKLID103), (2012SKLID204), the Ministry of Science and Technology of People’s Republic of China (No. 2013ZX10004101) and (2011CB504702); and National Natural Science Foundation of China (81290342). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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