Enhanced arbovirus surveillance with deep sequencing: Identification of novel rhabdoviruses and bunyaviruses in Australian mosquitoes
ABSTRACT 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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ABSTRACT: Mosquito-borne viruses encompass a range of virus families, comprising a number of significant human pathogens (e.g., dengue viruses, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus). Virulent strains of these viruses are continually evolving and expanding their geographic range, thus rapid and sensitive screening assays are required to detect emerging viruses and monitor their prevalence and spread in mosquito populations. Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is produced during the replication of many of these viruses as either an intermediate in RNA replication (e.g., flaviviruses, togaviruses) or the double-stranded RNA genome (e.g., reoviruses). Detection and discovery of novel viruses from field and clinical samples usually relies on recognition of antigens or nucleotide sequences conserved within a virus genus or family. However, due to the wide antigenic and genetic variation within and between viral families, many novel or divergent species can be overlooked by these approaches. We have developed two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) which show co-localised staining with proteins involved in viral RNA replication in immunofluorescence assay (IFA), suggesting specific reactivity to viral dsRNA. By assessing binding against a panel of synthetic dsRNA molecules, we have shown that these mAbs recognise dsRNA greater than 30 base pairs in length in a sequence-independent manner. IFA and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were employed to demonstrate detection of a panel of RNA viruses from several families, in a range of cell types. These mAbs, termed monoclonal antibodies to viral RNA intermediates in cells (MAVRIC), have now been incorporated into a high-throughput, economical ELISA-based screening system for the detection and discovery of viruses from mosquito populations. Our results have demonstrated that this simple system enables the efficient detection and isolation of a range of known and novel viruses in cells inoculated with field-caught mosquito samples, and represents a rapid, sequence-independent, and cost-effective approach to virus discovery.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 03/2015; 9(3):e0003629. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003629 · 4.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mosquitoes, most often recognized for the microbial agents of disease they may carry, harbor diverse microbial communities that include viruses, bacteria, and fungi, collectively called the microbiota. The composition of the microbiota can directly and indirectly affect disease transmission through microbial interactions that could be revealed by its characterization in natural populations of mosquitoes. Furthermore, the use of shotgun metagenomic sequencing (SMS) approaches could allow the discovery of unknown members of the microbiota. In this study, we use RNA SMS to characterize the microbiota of seven individual mosquitoes (species include Culex pipiens, Culiseta incidens, and Ochlerotatus sierrensis) collected from a variety of habitats in California, USA. Sequencing was performed on the Illumina HiSeq platform and the resulting sequences were quality-checked and assembled into contigs using the A5 pipeline. Sequences related to single stranded RNA viruses of the Bunyaviridae and Rhabdoviridae were uncovered, along with an unclassified genus of double-stranded RNA viruses. Phylogenetic analysis finds that in all three cases, the closest relatives of the identified viral sequences are other mosquito-associated viruses, suggesting widespread host-group specificity among disparate viral taxa. Interestingly, we identified a Narnavirus of fungi, also reported elsewhere in mosquitoes, that potentially demonstrates a nested host-parasite association between virus, fungi, and mosquito. Sequences related to 8 bacterial families and 13 fungal families were found across the seven samples. Bacillus and Escherichia/Shigella were identified in all samples and Wolbachia was identified in all Cx. pipiens samples, while no single fungal genus was found in more than two samples. This study exemplifies the utility of RNA SMS in the characterization of the natural microbiota of mosquitoes and, in particular, the value of identifying all microbes associated with a specific host.Frontiers in Microbiology 03/2015; 6:185. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00185 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has the potential to transform the discovery of viruses causing unexplained acute febrile illness (UAFI) because it does not depend on culturing the pathogen or a priori knowledge of the pathogen's nucleic acid sequence. More generally, it has the potential to elucidate the complete human virome, including viruses that cause no overt symptoms of disease, but may have unrecognized immunological or developmental consequences. We have used NGS to identify RNA viruses in the blood of 195 patients with UAFI and compared them with those found in 328 apparently healthy (i.e., no overt signs of illness) control individuals, all from communities in southeastern Nigeria. Among UAFI patients, we identified the presence of nucleic acids from several well-characterized pathogenic viruses, such as HIV-1, hepatitis, and Lassa virus. In our cohort of healthy individuals, however, we detected the nucleic acids of two novel rhabdoviruses. These viruses, which we call Ekpoma virus-1 (EKV-1) and Ekpoma virus-2 (EKV-2), are highly divergent, with little identity to each other or other known viruses. The most closely related rhabdoviruses are members of the genus Tibrovirus and Bas-Congo virus (BASV), which was recently identified in an individual with symptoms resembling hemorrhagic fever. Furthermore, by conducting a serosurvey of our study cohort, we find evidence for remarkably high exposure rates to the identified rhabdoviruses. The recent discoveries of novel rhabdoviruses by multiple research groups suggest that human infection with rhabdoviruses might be common. While the prevalence and clinical significance of these viruses are currently unknown, these viruses could have previously unrecognized impacts on human health; further research to understand the immunological and developmental impact of these viruses should be explored. More generally, the identification of similar novel viruses in individuals with and without overt symptoms of disease highlights the need for a broader understanding of the human virome as efforts for viral detection and discovery advance.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 03/2015; 9(3):e0003631. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003631 · 4.49 Impact Factor