Arthropod-borne viruses significantly impact human health. They span multiple families, all of which include viruses not known to cause disease. Characterizing these representatives could provide insights into the origins of their disease-causing counterparts. Field-caught Aedes aegypti mosquitoes from Nakhon Nayok, Thailand, underwent metagenomic shotgun sequencing to reveal a Bunyavirus closely related to Phasi Charoen (PhaV) virus, isolated in 2009 from Ae. aegypti near Bangkok. Phylogenetic analysis of this virus suggests it is basal to the Phlebovirus genus thus making it ideally positioned phylogenetically for understanding the evolution of these clinically important viruses. Genomic analysis finds that a gene necessary for virulence in vertebrates, but not essential for viral replication in arthropods, is missing. The sequencing of this phylogenetically-notable and genomically-unique Phlebovirus from wild mosquitoes exemplifies the utility and efficacy of metagenomic shotgun sequencing for virus characterization in arthropod vectors of human diseases. © 2014 The Authors.
Chandler, J. A., Thongsripong, P., Green, A., Kittayapong, P., Wilcox, B. A., Schroth, G. P., … Bennett, S. N. (2014). Metagenomic shotgun sequencing of a Bunyavirus in wild-caught Aedes aegypti from Thailand informs the evolutionary and genomic history of the Phleboviruses. Virology, 464–465(1), 312–319. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2014.06.036