Characterization of an insect-specific flavivirus (OCFVPT) co-isolated from Ochlerotatus caspius collected in southern Portugal along with a putative new Negev-like virus
We describe the isolation and characterization of an insect-specific flavivirus (ISF) from Ochlerotatus caspius (Pallas, 1771) mosquitoes collected in southern Portugal. The RNA genome of this virus, tentatively designated OCFVPT, for O. caspius flavivirus from Portugal, encodes a polyprotein showing all the features expected for a flavivirus. As frequently observed for ISF, the viral genomes seems to encode a putative Fairly Interesting Flavivirus ORF (FIFO)-like product, the synthesis of which would occur as a result of a -1 translation frameshift event. OCFVPT was isolated in the C6/36 Stegomyia albopicta (= Aedes albopictus) cell line where it replicates rapidly, but failed to replicate in Vero cells in common with other ISFs.