Discovery of a novel Tymoviridae-like virus in mosquitoes from Mexico
A novel Tymoviridae-like virus, designated Ek Balam virus, was isolated from male Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes collected in Yucatan, Mexico. The genome was fully sequenced and shown to have no more than 69% nt sequence identity to its closest known relative. Mosquito cells were permissive to Ek Balam virus replication, but mammalian and avian cells were refractory, suggesting that vertebrates are not involved in the maintenance of the virus in nature.
Mosquito collections were made possible by grant 5R21AI067281 from the National Institutes of Health. The metagenomics analysis and in vitro host range experiments were supported by an intramural grant from Iowa State University. A.E.F. and C.T. are supported by a Wellcome Trust grant  and a European Research Council grant  to A.E.F. The authors thank Kristina Larsen and Sean Johnston for technical assistance.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The research reported here did not involve the use of human subjects or vertebrate animals.
This study represents original work that has not been submitted to any other journal for publication. The authors have no conflict of interest to declare. No human or animal ethics approval was required for the completion of this study.
- 2.King AMQ, Adams MJ, Carstens EB, Lefkowitz EJ (2011) Virus taxonomy: classification and nomenclature of viruses: Ninth Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. Elsevier Academic Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- 5.Farfan-Ale JA, Lorono-Pino MA, Garcia-Rejon JE, Hovav E, Powers AM, Lin M et al (2009) Detection of RNA from a novel West Nile-like virus and high prevalence of an insect-specific flavivirus in mosquitoes in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Am J Trop Med Hyg 80(1):85–95 (PubMed PMID: 19141845. Pubmed Central PMCID: 2663380) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 6.Farfan-Ale JA, Lorono-Pino MA, Garcia-Rejon JE, Soto V, Lin M, Staley M et al (2010) Detection of flaviviruses and orthobunyaviruses in mosquitoes in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico in 2008. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 10(8):777–783 (PubMed PMID: 20370430. Pubmed Central PMCID: 2976644) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 7.Charles J, Tangudu CS, Hurt SL, Tumescheit C, Firth AE, Garcia-Rejon JE et al (2018) Detection of novel and recognized RNA viruses in mosquitoes from the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico using metagenomics and characterization of their in vitro host ranges. J Gen Virol. https://doi.org/10.1099/jgv.0.001165 Google Scholar