A diagnostic PCR assay was designed based on conserved regions of previously sequenced densovirus genomic DNA isolated from mosquitoes. Application of this assay to different insect cell lines resulted in a number of cases of consistent positive amplification of the predicted size fragment. Positive PCR results were subsequently confirmed to correlate with densovirus infection by both electron microscopy and indirect fluorescent antibody test. In each case the nucleotide sequence of the amplified PCR fragments showed high identity to previously reported densoviruses isolated from mosquitoes. Phylogenetic analysis based on these sequences showed that two of these isolates were examples of new densoviruses. These viruses could infect and replicate in mosquitoes when administered orally or parenterally and these infections were largely avirulent. In one virus/mosquito combination vertical transmission to progeny was observed. The frequency with which these viruses were detected would suggest that they may be quite common in insect cell lines.
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