Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.)

Detection and isolation of Sindbis virus from mosquitoes captured during an outbreak in Sweden, 2013.

PMID 25700044


Mosquito-borne alphaviruses have the potential to cause large outbreaks throughout the world. Here we investigated the causative agent of an unexpected Sindbis virus (SINV) outbreak during August-September, 2013, in a previously nonendemic region of Sweden. Mosquitoes were collected using carbon dioxide-baited CDC traps at locations close to human cases. The mosquitoes were initially screened as large pools by SINV-specific quantitative RT-PCR, and the SINV-positive mosquitoes were species determined by single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis, followed by sequencing the barcoding region of the cytochrome oxidase I gene. The proportion of the collected mosquitoes was determined by a metabarcoding strategy. By using novel strategies for PCR screening and genetic typing, a new SINV strain, Lövånger, was isolated from a pool of 1600 mosquitoes composed of Culex, Culiseta, and Aedes mosquitoes as determined by metabarcoding. The SINV-positive mosquito Culiseta morsitans was identified by SNP analysis and sequencing. After whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis, the SINV Lövånger isolate was shown to be most closely similar to recent Finnish SINV isolates. In conclusion, within a few weeks, we were able to detect and isolate a novel SINV strain and identify the mosquito vector during a sudden SINV outbreak.