Discovery of Jogalong virus, a novel hepacivirus identified in a Culex annulirostris (Skuse) mosquito from the Kimberley region of Western Australia

Simon H. Williams, Avram Levy, Rachel A. Yates, Nilusha Somaweera, Peter J. Neville, Jay Nicholson, Michael D.A. Lindsay, John S. Mackenzie, Komal Jain, Allison Imrie, David W. Smith, W. Ian Lipkin

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The discovery of hepaciviruses in non-human hosts has accelerated following the advancement of high-throughput sequencing technology. Hepaciviruses have now been described in reptiles, fish, birds, and an extensive array of mammals. Using metagenomic sequencing on pooled samples of field-collected Culex annulirostris mosquitoes, we discovered a divergent hepacivirus-like sequence, named Jogalong virus, from the Kimberley region in northern Western Australia. Using PCR, we screened the same 300 individual mosquitoes and found just a single positive sample (1/300, 0.33%). Phylogenetic analysis of the hepacivirus NS5B protein places Jogalong virus within the genus Hepacivirus but on a distinct and deeply rooted monophyletic branch shared with duck hepacivirus, suggesting a notably different evolutionary history. Vertebrate barcoding PCR targeting two mitochondrial genes, cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and cytochrome b, indicated that the Jogalong virus-positive mosquito had recently fed on the tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides), although it is currently unknown whether this bird species contributes to the natural ecology of this virus.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0227114
JournalPLoS One
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

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