Viruses in the genus Flavivirus (family Flaviviridae) include many arthropod-borne viruses of public health and veterinary importance. However, during the past two decades an explosion of novel insect-specific flaviviruses (ISFs), some closely related to vertebrate pathogens, have been discovered. Although many flavivirus pathogens of vertebrates have been isolated from naturally infected mosquitoes in Panama, ISFs have not previously been reported from the country. This report describes the isolation and characterization of a novel ISF, tentatively named Mercadeo virus (MECDV), obtained from Culex spp. mosquitoes collected in Panama. Two MECDV isolates were sequenced and cluster phylogenetically with cell-fusing agent virus (CFAV) and Nakiwogo virus (NAKV) to form a distinct lineage within the insect-specific group of flaviviruses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases