Enhanced arbovirus surveillance with deep sequencing: Identification of novel rhabdoviruses and bunyaviruses in Australian mosquitoes

Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, 270 Masonic Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA.
Virology (Impact Factor: 3.32). 01/2014; 448:146–158. DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2013.09.026


Viral metagenomics characterizes known and identifies unknown viruses based on sequence similarities to any previously sequenced viral genomes. A metagenomics approach was used to identify virus sequences in Australian mosquitoes causing cytopathic effects in inoculated mammalian cell cultures. Sequence comparisons revealed strains of Liao Ning virus (Reovirus, Seadornavirus), previously detected only in China, livestock-infecting Stretch Lagoon virus (Reovirus, Orbivirus), two novel dimarhabdoviruses, named Beaumont and North Creek viruses, and two novel orthobunyaviruses, named Murrumbidgee and Salt Ash viruses. The novel virus proteomes diverged by ≥50% relative to their closest previously genetically characterized viral relatives. Deep sequencing also generated genomes of Warrego and Wallal viruses, orbiviruses linked to kangaroo blindness, whose genomes had not been fully characterized. This study highlights viral metagenomics in concert with traditional arbovirus surveillance to characterize known and new arboviruses in field-collected mosquitoes. Follow-up epidemiological studies are required to determine whether the novel viruses infect humans.

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