Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Newly discovered 'multicomponent' virus can infect animals


Scientists have identified a new "multicomponent" virus -- one containing different segments of genetic material in separate particles -- that can infect animals, according to research published today in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.

This new pathogen, called Guaico Culex virus (GCXV), was isolated from several species of mosquitoes in Central and South America. GCXV does not appear to infect mammals, according to first author Jason Ladner, Ph.D., of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). However, the team also isolated a related virus -- called Jingmen tick virus, or JMTV -- from a nonhuman primate. Further analysis demonstrates that both GCXV and JMTV belong to a highly diverse and newly discovered group of viruses called the Jingmenvirus group.

Multicomponent viruses, which separately package different genome segments, were thought to be restricted to plant and fungal hosts. Ladner et al. characterize a multicomponent mosquito virus and describe an evolutionarily-related, segmented virus in a non-human primate. These findings provide evidence for multicomponent animal viruses and suggest relevance to animal health. Photo depicts the presence of different viral RNA segments within infected cells.

Credit: Michael Lindquist, USAMRIID (US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases)

Taken together, the research suggests that the host range of this virus group is quite diverse--and highlights the potential relevance of these viruses to animal and human health.

"Animal viruses typically have all genome segments packaged together into a single viral particle, so only one of those particles is needed to infect a host cell," Ladner explained. "But in a multicomponent virus, the genome is divided into multiple pieces, with each one packaged separately into a viral particle. At least one particle of each type is required for cell infection."

Several plant pathogens have this type of organization, but the study published today is the first to describe a multicomponent virus that infects animals.

Working with collaborators including the University of Texas Medical Branch and the New York State Department of Health, the USAMRIID team extracted and sequenced virus from mosquitoes collected around the world. The newly discovered virus is named for the Guaico region of Trinidad, where the mosquitoes that contained it were first found.

In collaboration with a group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the USAMRIID investigators also found the first evidence of a Jingmenvirus in the blood of a nonhuman primate, in this case a red colobus monkey living in Kibale National Park, Uganda. The animal showed no signs of disease when the sample was taken, so it is not known whether the virus had a pathogenic effect.

Jingmenviruses were first described in 2014 and are related to flaviviruses -- a large family of viruses that includes human pathogens such as yellow fever, West Nile and Japanese encephalitis viruses.

"One area we are focused on is the identification and characterization of novel viruses," said the paper's senior author Gustavo Palacios, Ph.D., who directs USAMRIID's Center for Genome Sciences. "This study allowed us to utilize all our tools--and even though this virus does not appear to affect mammals, we are continuing to refine those tools so we can be better prepared for the next outbreak of disease that could have an impact on human health."

While it is difficult to predict, experts believe that the infectious viruses most likely to emerge next in humans are those already affecting other mammals, particularly nonhuman primates.


This research was supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the National Institutes of Health, the James W. McLaughlin endowment fund, a Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute-Environmental Protection Agency grant, and a Robert E. Shope fellowship.

USAMRIID's mission is to provide leading edge medical capabilities to deter and defend against current and emerging biological threat agents. Research conducted at USAMRIID leads to medical solutions--vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and information--that benefit both military personnel and civilians. The Institute plays a key role as the lead military medical research laboratory for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense. USAMRIID is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. For more information, visit

Reference: Cell Host & Microbe, Ladner et al: "A Multicomponent Animal Virus Isolated from Mosquitoes" /

Media Contact

Caree Vander Linden

Caree Vander Linden | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: Infectious Diseases human health infect mosquitoes primate viruses

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>