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JOURNAL ARTICLE

First report of Culex flavivirus infection from Culex coronator (Diptera: Culicidae), Colombia

Jorge Miranda, Salim Mattar, Marco Gonzalez, Richard Hoyos-López, Ader Aleman, Jose Aponte
Virology Journal 2019 January 3, 16 (1): 1
30606229

BACKGROUND: Flaviviruses are important pathogens for humans and animals (Dengue viruses, Yellow fever virus, Zika virus and West Nile virus). Culex flavivirus (CxFV) is an insect-specific virus of the genus Flavivirus, detected in a wide variety of mosquito species.

OBJECTIVE: To detect Flavivirus in mosquitoes of a tropical region of the Colombian Caribbean.

METHODS: In 2014, an entomological surveillance of arboviruses was conducted in the department of Cordoba area of the Caribbean, Colombia. A total of 8270 mosquitoes were captured as follow: Mansonia (n = 3271/39.5%), Culex (n = 2668/32.26%), Anopheles (n = 840/10.15%), Aedeomyia (n = 411/4.9%), Psorophora (n = 397/4.8%), Coquilletidia (n = 369/4.46%), Uranotaenia (n = 261/3.15%) and Aedes (n = 53/0.6%). All mosquito species were collected in dry tropical forest of the Caribbean area. Universal primers for NS5 gene (958 pb), RT-PCR for flavivirus and sequencing were used for molecular identification of viruses detected.

RESULTS: Two pools belonging to Culex coronator were positive for flavivirus RNA sequence by RT-PCR. The sequences of the PCR amplicons, matched that of the Culex flaviviruses, CxFv COL PM_149 (GenBank: KR014201) and CxFv COL PM_212 (GenBank: KT307717). Phylogenetic analysis of the NS5 protein sequences of the Culex flaviviruses sequences with those of reference sequences available in GenBank indicated viruses of Genotype II, closely related to the Brazilian strain, BR_SJRP_01_ (GenBank: KT726939), from Culex sp. The alignment of Culex flavivirus sequences CxFv COL_ PM 212 and CxFv COL_ PM 149 with sequences of strains detected in different geographical regions grouped the strains in a Latin American clade reported in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

CONCLUSIONS: The present work illustrated that CxFV was circulating among vectors of human pathogenic arboviruses in Colombia, but the impact of CxFV on other flaviviruses which are endemic in the study area still remains to be explored.

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