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Kamiti river virus (KRV) is an insect-only Flavivirus that was isolated from field-collected Ae. macintoshi mosquitoes in 1999, and is closely related to cell fusing agent virus. Both of these viruses belong to the family Flaviviridae, which also contains other viruses of medical importance, such as yellow fever virus, West Nile virus and dengue. Because Ae. macintoshi is the only known natural host to KRV, the main objective of this study was to establish the possibility that other mosquito hosts of the virus exist, by determining its ability to infect Ae. aegypti mosquitoes under laboratory conditions. The study also sought to determine the rates of infection and, subsequently, vertical transmission as a possible means of its maintenance and propagation in nature, given that it neither grows in vertebrate cells or mice. The mosquitoes were infected by the virus either as larvae or adults. Virus assay was done by re-isolation in tissue culture and indirect immunofluoresce assay methods. KRV infected Ae. aegypti mosquitoes, with the observed rates as high as 74 to 96 %. The virus was also transmitted vertically in these mosquitoes. Vertical transmission rates of 3.90 % were observed for the 2nd and 3rd ovarian cycles combined. These results suggest that Ae. aegypti mosquitoes are likely to be infected with KRV in nature, and that vertical transmission is the natural means by which it is maintained and propagated in this host, and possibly others.
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