Genetic lineage characterization and spatiotemporal dynamics of classical insect-specific flaviviruses: outcomes and limitations

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Abstract

The genus Flavivirus incorporates bona fide arboviruses, as well as others viruses with restricted replication in insect cells. Among the latter, a large monophyletic cluster of viruses, known as cISF (classical insect-specific flaviviruses), has been sampled in many species of mosquitoes collected over a large geographic range. In this study, we investigated nucleotide and protein sequences with a suite of molecular characterization approaches including genetic distance, Shannon entropy, selective pressure analysis, polymorphism identification, principal coordinate analysis, likelihood mapping, phylodynamic reconstruction, and spatiotemporal dispersal, to further characterize this diverse group of insect-viruses. The different lineages and sub-lineages of viral sequences presented low sequence diversity and entropy (though some displayed lineage-specific polymorphisms), did not show evidence of frequent recombination and evolved under strong purifying selection. Moreover, the reconstruction of the evolutionary history and spatiotemporal dispersal was highly impacted by overall low signals of sequence divergence throughout time but suggested that cISF distribution in space and time is dynamic and may be dependent on human activities, including commercial trading and traveling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number198507
JournalVirus research
Volume303
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • BEAST
  • Flavivirus
  • Genetic diversity
  • Insect-specific viruses
  • Phylodynamics
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Phylogeography

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