1887

Abstract

Sequences corresponding to a putative, novel rhabdovirus [designated Merida virus (MERDV)] were initially detected in a pool of collected in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. The entire genome was sequenced, revealing 11 798 nt and five major ORFs, which encode the nucleoprotein (N), phosphoprotein (P), matrix protein (M), glycoprotein (G) and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (L). The deduced amino acid sequences of the N, G and L proteins have no more than 24, 38 and 43 % identity, respectively, to the corresponding sequences of all other known rhabdoviruses, whereas those of the P and M proteins have no significant identity with any sequences in GenBank and their identity is only suggested based on their genome position. Using specific reverse transcription-PCR assays established from the genome sequence, 27 571 which had been sorted in 728 pools were screened to assess the prevalence of MERDV in nature and 25 pools were found positive. The minimal infection rate (calculated as the number of positive mosquito pools per 1000 mosquitoes tested) was 0.9, and similar for both females and males. Screening another 140 pools of 5484 mosquitoes belonging to four other genera identified positive pools of spp. mosquitoes, indicating that the host range is not restricted to . Attempts to isolate MERDV in C6/36 and Vero cells were unsuccessful. In summary, we provide evidence that a previously undescribed rhabdovirus occurs in mosquitoes in Mexico.

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2016-04-01
2022-01-25
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