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Supplementary Material for: Phylogenetic Characterization of a Novel Insect-Specific Flavivirus Detected in a Culex Pool, Collected from Assam, India

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posted on 14.05.2015, 00:00 by Datta S., Gopalakrishnan R., Chatterjee S., Veer V.
Objective: We report the phylogenetic characterization of a unique flavivirus sequence detected in a wild Culex tritaeniorhynchus mosquito pool, collected from the northeast Indian state of Assam. Methods: DNA and RNA were extracted from field-collected mosquito pools. Extracts were subjected to PCR and reverse transcriptase PCR amplification using universal and type-specific primers for direct detection of flavivirus-specific viral nucleic acids. An amplified flavivirus nonstructural protein 5 (NS5) genetic region was sequenced and BLAST searched, and phylogenetic analyses performed with reference sequences retrieved from GenBank. Results: Phylogenetic analyses revealed the sequence to be related to insect-specific flaviviruses (ISFs) of the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae. Despite being related to the Palm Creek virus (PCV; an ISF very recently reported from Northern Australia), the present sequence (provisionally named Assam virus) was found to be highly divergent from PCV and other ISF sequences available in GenBank. The partial NS5 sequence analysis demonstrated low nucleotide sequence identity (66-77%) with known ISFs reported from other parts of the globe. Conclusion: Findings of this study suggest the presence of a candidate novel ISF - the first to be reported from India.