Aquatic flaviviruses

Megan J Lensink, Yiqiao Li, Sebastian Lequime*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


Flaviviruses are positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses, including some well-known human pathogens such as Zika, dengue, and yellow fever viruses, which are primarily associated with mosquito and tick vectors. The vast majority of flavivirus research has focused on terrestrial environments; however, recent findings indicate that a range of flaviviruses are also present in aquatic environments, both marine and freshwater. These flaviviruses are found in various hosts, including fish, crustaceans, molluscs, and echinoderms. Although the effects of aquatic flaviviruses on the hosts they infect are not all known, some have been detected in farmed species and may have detrimental effects on the aquaculture industry. Exploration of the evolutionary history through the discovery of the Wenzhou shark flavivirus in both a shark and crab host is of particular interest since the potential dual-host nature of this virus may indicate that the invertebrate-vertebrate relationship seen in other flaviviruses may have a more profound evolutionary root than previously expected. Potential endogenous viral elements and the range of novel aquatic flaviviruses discovered thus shed light on virus origins and evolutionary history and may indicate that, like terrestrial life, the origins of flaviviruses may lie in aquatic environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0043922
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number17
Early online date17-Aug-2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2022

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