Discovery and characterisation of a new insect-specific bunyavirus from Culex mosquitoes captured in northern Australia

Jody Hobson-Peters, David Warrilow, Breeanna J. McLean, Daniel Watterson, Agathe M.G. Colmant, Andrew F van den Hurk, Sonja Hall-Mendelin, Marcus L. Hastie, Jeffrey J. Gorman, Jessica J. Harrison, Natalie A. Prow, Ross T. Barnard, Richard Allcock, Cheryl A. Johansen, Roy A Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Insect-specific viruses belonging to significant arboviral families have recently been discovered. These viruses appear to be maintained within the insect population without the requirement for replication in a vertebrate host. Mosquitoes collected from Badu Island in the Torres Strait in 2003 were analysed for insect-specific viruses. A novel bunyavirus was isolated in high prevalence from Culex spp. The new virus, provisionally called Badu virus (BADUV), replicated in mosquito cells of both Culex and Aedes origin, but failed to replicate in vertebrate cells. Genomic sequencing revealed that the virus was distinct from sequenced bunyavirus isolates reported to date, but phylogenetically clustered most closely with recently discovered mosquito-borne, insect-specific bunyaviruses in the newly proposed Goukovirus genus. The detection of a functional furin cleavage motif upstream of the two glycoproteins in the M segment-encoded polyprotein suggests that BADUV may employ a unique strategy to process the virion glycoproteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-281
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Bunyavirus
  • Goukovirus
  • Insect-specific
  • Mosquito
  • Mosquito-specific

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