Adult mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) were collected in 2007 and tested for specific viruses, including West Nile virus, as part of the ongoing arbovirus surveillance efforts in the state of Iowa. A subset of these mosquitoes (6,061 individuals in 340 pools) was further tested by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using flavivirus universal primers. Of the 211 pools of Culex pipiens (L.) tested, 50 were positive. One of 51 pools of Culex tarsalis Coquillet was also positive. The flavivirus minimum infection rates (expressed as the number of positive mosquito pools per 1,000 mosquitoes tested) for Cx. pipiens and Cx. tarsalis were 10.3 and 1.2, respectively. Flavivirus RNA was not detected in Aedes triseriatus (Say) (52 pools), Culex erraticus (Dyar & Knab) (25 pools), or Culex territans Walker (one pool). Sequence analysis of all RT-PCR products revealed that the mosquitoes had been infected with Culex flavivirus (CxFV), an insect-specific virus previously isolated in Japan, Indonesia, Texas, Mexico, Guatemala and Trinidad. The complete genome of one isolate was sequenced, as were the envelope protein genes of eight other isolates. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that CxFV isolates from the United States (Iowa and Texas) are more closely related to CxFV isolates from Asia than those from Mexico, Guatemala, and Trinidad.
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Vol. 46 • No. 4