Identification and Characterization of Two Novel RNA Viruses from Anopheles gambiae Species Complex Mosquitoes

Guillaume Carissimo, Karin Eiglmeier, Julie Reveillaud, Inge Holm, Mawlouth Diallo, Diawo Diallo, Amélie Vantaux, Saorin Kim, Didier Ménard, Sovannaroth Siv, Eugeni Belda, Emmanuel Bischoff, Christophe Antoniewski, Kenneth D Vernick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mosquitoes of the Anopheles gambiae complex display strong preference for human bloodmeals and are major malaria vectors in Africa. However, their interaction with viruses or role in arbovirus transmission during epidemics has been little examined, with the exception of O'nyong-nyong virus, closely related to Chikungunya virus. Deep-sequencing has revealed different RNA viruses in natural insect viromes, but none have been previously described in the Anopheles gambiae species complex. Here, we describe two novel insect RNA viruses, a Dicistrovirus and a Cypovirus, found in laboratory colonies of An. gambiae taxa using small-RNA deep sequencing. Sequence analysis was done with Metavisitor, an open-source bioinformatic pipeline for virus discovery and de novo genome assembly. Wild-collected Anopheles from Senegal and Cambodia were positive for the Dicistrovirus and Cypovirus, displaying high sequence identity to the laboratory-derived virus. Thus, the Dicistrovirus (Anopheles C virus, AnCV) and Cypovirus (Anopheles Cypovirus, AnCPV) are components of the natural virome of at least some anopheline species. Their possible influence on mosquito immunity or transmission of other pathogens is unknown. These natural viruses could be developed as models for the study of Anopheles-RNA virus interactions in low security laboratory settings, in an analogous manner to the use of rodent malaria parasites for studies of mosquito anti-parasite immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0153881
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2016


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