Field Isolation and Laboratory Vector–Host Studies of Brazoran Virus (Peribunyaviridae: Orthobunyavirus) from Florida

Philip M. Armstrong Department of Entomology, The Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut;

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John F. Anderson Department of Entomology, The Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut;

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Rohit Sharma Department of Entomology, The Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut;

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Michael J. Misencik Department of Entomology, The Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut;

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Angela Bransfield Department of Entomology, The Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut;

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Charles R. Vossbrinck Department of Environmental Science and Forestry, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut

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Doug E. Brackney Department of Entomology, The Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut;

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ABSTRACT.

Brazoran virus was first isolated from Culex mosquitoes in Texas in 2012, yet little is known about this virus. We report the isolation of this virus from Culex erraticus from southern Florida during 2016. The Florida strain had a nucleotide identity of 96.3% (S segment), 99.1% (M segment), and 95.8% (L segment) to the Texas isolate. Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes aegypti colonies were subsequently fed virus blood meals to determine their vector competence for Brazoran virus. Culex quinquefasciatus was susceptible to midgut infection, but few mosquitoes developed disseminated infections. Aedes aegypti supported disseminated infection, but virus transmission could not be demonstrated. Suckling mice became infected by intradermal inoculation without visible disease signs. The virus was detected in multiple mouse tissues but rarely infected the brain. This study documents the first isolation of Brazoran virus outside of Texas. Although this virus infected Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus in laboratory trials, their vector competence could not be demonstrated, suggesting they are unlikely vectors of Brazoran virus.

Author Notes

Financial support: This research was supported in part by the NIH (grant no. 1R01AI148477-01A1).

Disclosure: Studies involving animals were approved by the CAES Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (protocol P39-22).

Authors’ addresses: Philip M. Armstrong, John F. Anderson, Rohit Sharma, Michael J. Misencik, Angela Bransfield, and Doug E. Brackney, Department of Entomology, The Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT, E-mails: philip.armstrong@ct.gov, john.f.anderson@ct.gov, rohitah.sharma@gmail.com, michael.misencik@ct.gov, angela.bransfield@ct.gov, and doug.brackney@ct.gov. Charles R. Vossbrinck, Department of Environmental Science and Forestry, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT, E-mail: charles.vossbrinck@ct.gov.

Address correspondence to Philip Armstrong, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Department of Entomology, 123 Huntington St., PO Box 1106, New Haven, CT 06511. E-mail: philip.armstrong@ct.gov
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