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Composition and global distribution of the mosquito virome – A comprehensive database of insect-specific viruses


This publication is part of the project ‘Preparing for vector-borne virus outbreaks in a changing world: a One Health Approach’ (NWA.1160.1S.210) which is (partly) financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

Authors: Jurgen P. Moonen, Michelle Schinkel, Tom van der Most, Pascal Miesen, Ronald P. van Rij


Mosquitoes are vectors for emerging and re-emerging infectious viral diseases of humans, livestock and other animals. In addition to these arthropod-borne (arbo)viruses, mosquitoes are host to an array of insect-specific viruses, collectively referred to as the mosquito virome. Mapping the mosquito virome and understanding if and how its composition modulates arbovirus transmission is critical to understand arboviral disease emergence and outbreak dynamics. In recent years, next-generation sequencing as well as PCR and culture-based methods have been extensively used to identify mosquito-associated viruses, providing insights into virus ecology and evolution. Until now, the large amount of mosquito virome data, specifically those acquired by metagenomic sequencing, has not been comprehensively integrated. We have constructed a searchable database of insect-specific viruses associated with vector mosquitoes from 175 studies, published between October 2000 and February 2022. We identify the most frequently detected and widespread viruses of the Culex, Aedes and Anopheles mosquito genera and report their global distribution. In addition, we highlight the challenges of extracting and integrating published virome data and we propose that a standardized reporting format will facilitate data interpretation and re-use by other scientists. We expect our comprehensive database, summarizing mosquito virome data collected over 20 years, to be a useful resource for future studies.

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Source: Science Direct

Date: March 15