The two major groups of pathogenic viruses in mosquitoes are the occluded viruses, represented by baculoviruses and cypoviruses, and the non-occluded viruses, represented by the densoviruses and the iridoviruses. Baculoviruses, densoviruses, and iridoviruses are DNA viruses, while cypoviruses are the major group of RNA viruses reported from mosquitoes. Research on mosquito pathogenic viruses has been limited, in part, due to the inability to effectively transmit them to the larval mosquito host. Recently, there have been tremendous advancements in the ability to transmit mosquito baculoviruses and cypoviruses with the finding that transmission is mediated by divalent cations. Oral transmission of both baculoviruses and cypoviruses to mosquito larvae is enhanced by magnesium and inhibited by calcium ions. The current status of transmission for each of the major groups is reviewed with emphasis on the common role of divalent cations in transmission of the distantly related baculoviruses and cypoviruses.
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