Genetic and phenotypic characterization of the newly described insect flavivirus, Kamiti River virus.
ABSTRACT We have described in the accompanying paper by Sang, et al., (, Arch Virol 2003, in press) the isolation and identification of a new flavivirus, Kamiti River virus (KRV), from Ae. macintoshi mosquitoes that were collected as larvae and pupae from flooded dambos in Central Province, Kenya. Among known flaviviruses, KRV was shown to be most similar to, but genetically and phenotypically distinct from, Cell fusing agent virus (CFAV). KRV was provisionally identified as an insect-only flavivirus that fails to replicate in vertebrate cells or in mice. We report here the further characterization of KRV. Growth in cell culture was compared to that of CFAV; although growth kinetics were similar, KRV did not cause the cell fusion that is characteristic of CFAV infection. The KRV genome was found to be 11,375 nucleotides in length, containing a single open reading frame encoding 10 viral proteins. Likely polyprotein cleavage sites were identified, which were most similar to those of CFAV and were comparable to those of other flaviviruses. Sequence identity with other flaviviruses was low; maximum identity was with CFAV. Possible terminal secondary structures for the 5' and 3' non-coding regions (NCR) were similar to those predicted for other flaviviruses. Whereas CFAV was isolated from insect cells in the laboratory, the isolation of KRV demonstrates the presence of an insect-only flavivirus in nature and raises questions regarding potential interactions between this virus and other mosquito-borne viruses in competent vector populations. Additionally, this virus will be an important tool in future studies to determine markers associated with flavivirus host specificity.
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ABSTRACT: Flaviviruses present a wide range of genetic diversity and exhibit diverse host relationships. Mosquito-borne flaviviruses have recently been isolated and characterized worldwide. Yunnan Province of China is one of the richest areas of species diversity and is the center of multi-species evolution in mainland Asia, which supports the circulation of numerous arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses). In a screening program of arboviruses, mosquitoes were collected during the mosquito activity season in the Yunnan Province from 2007 to 2010. Eleven flavivirus strains, named Yunnan Culex flaviviruses (YNCxFVs), were obtained from Culex tritaeniorhynchus and Anopheles sinensis specimens. Sequence analyses based on partial nonstructural protein (NS) 5 gene indicated that the YNCxFVs shared 92.8%-99.6% nucleotide identity with each other and were similar to the Culex-related flaviviruses. The complete genome of one representative isolate, LSFlaviV-A20-09, was sequenced. The genome was 10,865 nucleotides long and contained a single, long open reading frame (ORF) of 10,080 nucleotides that encoded a 3360-aa polyprotein. This genome was most closely related to the Quang Binh virus (QBV) VN180 strain, an insect-specific flavivirus isolated from Culex mosquitoes in Vietnam, but only had 83.0% nucleotide and 93.8% amino acid identities for the ORF sequence. The genome has approximately 66.3%-68.5% nucleotide sequence and 69.3%-73.3% amino acid sequence identities to other Culex flaviviruses, and only has 47.9%-57.9% nucleotide sequence and 38.7%-55.1% amino acid sequence identities to Coquillettidia-related, Mansonia-related and Aedes-related flaviviruses. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the LSFlaviV-A20-09 fell into the Culex-related flavivirus clade. Our discoveries provide more information regarding the heterogeneity of viruses that infect mosquitoes.Virus Research 12/2013; · 2.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: RNA secondary structures in the 3'untranslated regions (3'UTR) of the viruses of the family Flaviviridae, previously identified as essential (promoters) or beneficial (enhancers) for replication, have been analysed. Duplicated enhancer elements are revealed as a global feature in the evolution of the 3'UTR of distantly related viruses within the genera Flavivirus and Pestivirus. For the flaviviruses, duplicated structures occur in the 3'UTR of all four distantly related ecological virus subgroups (tick-borne, mosquito-borne, no known vector and insect-specific flaviviruses (ISFV). RNA structural differences distinguish tick-borne flaviviruses with discrete pathogenetic characteristics. For Aedes- and Culex-associated ISFV, secondary RNA structures with different conformations display numerous short ssRNA direct repeats, exposed as loops and bulges. Long quadruplicate regions comprise almost the entire 3'UTR of Culex-associated ISFV. Extended duplicated sequence and associated RNA structures were also discovered in the 3'UTR of pestiviruses. In both the Flavivirus and Pestivirus genera, duplicated RNA structures were localized to the enhancer regions of the 3'UTR suggesting an adaptive role predominantly in wild-type viruses. We propose sequence reiteration might act as a scaffold for dimerization of proteins involved in assembly of viral replicase complexes. Numerous nucleotide repeats exposed as loops/bulges might also interfere with host immune responses acting as a molecular sponge to sequester key host proteins or microRNAs.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e92056. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: From Jan. 1, 2009, to May 31, 2013, 15, 287 respiratory specimens submitted to the Clinical Virology laboratory at Children's Hospital Colorado were tested for human coronavirus RNA by RT-PCR. Human coronaviruses HKU1, OC43, 229E, and NL63 co-circulated during each of the respiratory seasons but with significant year to year variability, and cumulatively accounted for 7.4 - 15.6% of all samples tested during months of peak activity. A total of 79 (0.5% prevalence) specimens were positive for human betacoronavirus HKU1 RNA. Genotypes HKU1 A and B were both isolated from clinical specimens and propagated on primary human tracheal-bronchial epithelial cells cultured at the air-liquid interface and were neutralized in vitro by human intravenous immunoglobulin and by polyclonal rabbit antibodies to the spike glycoprotein of HKU1. Phylogenetic analysis of deduced amino acid sequences of 7 full length genomes of Colorado HKU1 viruses and the spike glycoproteins from 4 additional HKU1 viruses from Colorado and 3 from Brazil, demonstrated remarkable conservation of these sequences with genotypes circulating in Hong Kong and France. Within genotype A, all but one of the Colorado HKU1 sequences formed a unique subclade defined by 3 amino acid residue substitutions (W197F, F613Y, S752F) in the spike glycoprotein and exhibited a unique signature in the acidic tandem repeat in the N terminal region of the nsp3 subdomain. Elucidating the function of and mechanisms responsible for the formation of theses varying tandem will increase our understanding of the replication process and pathogenicity of HKU1 and potentially other coronaviruses.Journal of General Virology 01/2014; · 3.13 Impact Factor