Pan-Arbovirus Surveillance and Discovery
What is it about?
In an August 2016 publication in Molecular Ecology Resources, researchers at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) developed a high throughput, low-cost (<$1/assay) multiplex PCR/high-resolution melting analysis (HRMA) approach for the rapid surveillance, discovery, and identification of arthropod vectored viruses (arboviruses) within Flavivirus, Alphavirus, Nairovirus, Phlebovirus, Orthobunyavirus and Thogotovirus genera. Validations included controls of >22 medically important viruses such as those responsible for Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya, Rift Valley, West Nile and Yellow fevers. Among field-collected mosquitoes, this approach led to the isolation of Wesselsbron virus, which has previously caused disease in humans, for the first time in Kenya. The team also identified a diversity of insect-specific flaviviruses in Aedes, Mansonia and for the first time, Anopheles mosquitoes.
Why is it important?
Multiplex RT–PCR-HRM can identify novel viral diversities and potential disease threats that may not be included in pathogen detection panels of routine surveillance efforts. This approach can be adapted to other pathogens to enhance disease surveillance and pathogen discovery efforts, as well as the study of pathogen diversity and viral evolutionary ecology. The insect-specific flavivirus diversity identified in this study is likely to affect the transmission dynamics of arboviruses, and possibly malaria, within mosquito vectors.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Jandouwe Villinger
In partnership with: