Genetic Characterization of Spondweni and Zika Viruses and Susceptibility of Geographically Distinct Strains of Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, and Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) to Spondweni Virus
USAMRIID Frederick United States
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Zika virus ZIKV has extended its known geographic distribution to the Western Hemisphere and is now responsible for severe clinical complications in a sub-set of patients. While substantial genetic and vector susceptibility data exist for ZIKV, less is known for its sister flavivirus, Spondweni virus SPONV. Both ZIKV and SPONV have been known to circulate in Africa since the mid-1900s, but neither has been genetically characterized by gene and compared in parallel. Furthermore, the susceptibility of cosmopolitan mosquito species incriminated or suspected in the transmission of ZIKV to SPONV was unknown.