Culex flavivirus and West Nile virus in Culex quinquefasciatus populations in the southeastern United States.
ABSTRACT Little is known of the interactions between insect-only flaviviruses and other arboviruses in their mosquito hosts, or the potential public health significance of these associations. The specific aims of this study were to describe the geographic distribution, prevalence, and seasonal infection rates of Culex flavivirus (CxFV) and West Nile virus (WNV) in Culex quinquefasciatus Say in the Southeastern United States, investigate the potential association between CxFV and WNV prevalence in Cx. quinquefasciatus and describe the phylogenetic relationship among CxFV and WNV isolates from the Southeastern United States and around the world. Using ArboNET records, 11 locations were selected across Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana that represented a range of WNV human case incidence levels. Cx. quinquefasciatus were trapped weekly throughout the summer of 2009 and pools were screened for flavivirus RNA by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Cx. quinquefasciatus from Georgia had significantly higher CxFV infection rates than either Mississippi or Louisiana. CxFV was not detected in Mississippi after July, and no CxFV was detected in Cx. quinquefasciatus in Louisiana. In Georgia, CxFV infection rates were variable between and within counties and over time. WNV infection rates were not significantly different across states or months, and WNV sequences from all three states were identical to each other in the envelope and NS5 gene regions. Phylogenetically, NS5 and E gene sequences from Georgia CxFV isolates clustered with CxFV from Japan, Iowa, and Texas. Multiple CxFV genetic variants were found circulating simultaneously in Georgia. No evidence was found supporting an association between WNV and CxFV infection prevalence in Cx. quinquefasciatus.
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ABSTRACT: Adult mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) were collected in 2007 and tested for specific viruses, including West Nile virus, as part of the ongoing arbovirus surveillance efforts in the state of Iowa. A subset of these mosquitoes (6,061 individuals in 340 pools) was further tested by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using flavivirus universal primers. Of the 211 pools of Culex pipiens (L.) tested, 50 were positive. One of 51 pools of Culex tarsalis Coquillet was also positive. The flavivirus minimum infection rates (expressed as the number of positive mosquito pools per 1,000 mosquitoes tested) for Cx. pipiens and Cx. tarsalis were 10.3 and 1.2, respectively. Flavivirus RNA was not detected in Aedes triseriatus (Say) (52 pools), Culex erraticus (Dyar & Knab) (25 pools), or Culex territans Walker (one pool). Sequence analysis of all RT-PCR products revealed that the mosquitoes had been infected with Culex flavivirus (CxFV), an insect-specific virus previously isolated in Japan, Indonesia, Texas, Mexico, Guatemala and Trinidad. The complete genome of one isolate was sequenced, as were the envelope protein genes of eight other isolates. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that CxFV isolates from the United States (Iowa and Texas) are more closely related to CxFV isolates from Asia than those from Mexico, Guatemala, and Trinidad.Journal of Medical Entomology 07/2009; 46(4):934-41. · 1.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This article presents confidence intervals for the difference of two binomial proportions estimated from pooled samples with unequal pool sizes. Asymptotic methods are used to derive Wald, profile score, and profile likelihood ratio intervals. Corrections for bias and skewness of the distribution of the Studentized score statistic are used to improve the profile score interval. Further, the easily computed Wilson score-based interval of Newcombe is adapted. Coverage and noncoverage probabilities and expected lengths of the confidence intervals are estimated for a range of parameter values expected in application, for both one- and two-sample cases. The skewness-corrected profile score interval is generally recommended. The methods are applied to a comparison of West Nile virus mosquito infection prevalences by trapping height in field collections from Louisiana in 2003.Journal of Agricultural Biological and Environmental Statistics 04/2012; 13(4):478-496. · 1.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cell fusing agent (CFA) is an RNA virus originally isolated from a line of Aedes aegypti mosquito cells. Although our characterization of the virus many years ago showed that it resembled the flaviviruses, there was no detectable serological cross-reaction with members of the genus flavivirus. Furthermore, unlike the well-studied members of the genus flavivirus, CFA did not replicate in any of several vertebrate cell lines tested. We have now determined the nucleotide sequence of the CFA genome. Comparison of the predicted amino acid sequence of the CFA polyprotein with viral protein sequences in Genbank, has made it apparent that CFA should now be assigned to the family Flaviviridae, genus flavivirus. The homology between CFA proteins and those of other flaviviruses was highest for NS5 (45%) and NS3 (34%). Little homology was found for the structural proteins. Thus, CFA is only distantly related to the other flaviviruses for which there is sequence information; nevertheless, with respect to their hydrophobicity plots, the CFA polyprotein and the polyproteins of other flaviviruses are remarkably similar. We suggest that CFA is an insect virus, which was present in the embryos from which the Ae. aegypti cell line was established. Thus, CFA seems to be the first member of the family Flaviviridae, genus flavivirus, to be identified as an insect virus.Virology 09/1992; 189(2):511-24. · 3.37 Impact Factor