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Review article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Vector-borne viruses and their detection by viral metagenomics

Cholleti, Harindranath; Berg, Mikael; Hayer, Juliette; Blomström, Anne-Lie


Arthropods, such as mosquitoes and ticks, are important vectors for different viruses (so called vector-borne viruses), some of which cause a significant number of human and animal deaths every year as well as affect public health worldwide. Dengue virus, yellow fever virus, chikungunya virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus and Zika virus are just a few examples of important vector-borne viruses. The majority of all vector-borne viruses have an RNA genome, which routinely undergo genetic modifications. The changes in the genome, apart from the environmental issues, can also influence the spread of viruses to new habitats and hosts and lead to the emergence of novel viruses, which may become a threat to public health. Therefore, it is important to investigate the viruses circulating in arthropod vectors to understand their diversity, host range and evolutionary history as well as to predict new emerging pathogens. The choice of detection method is important, as most of the methods can only detect viruses that have been previously well described. Viral metagenomics is a useful tool to simultaneously identify all the viruses present in a sample, including novel viruses. This review describes vector-borne viruses, their maintenance and emergence in nature, and detection using viral metagenomics.


Vector-borne virus; arbovirus; viral metagenomics

Published in

Infection Ecology & Epidemiology
2018, Volume: 8, number: 1, article number: 1553465