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.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 30, 2015
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