New study reveals previously unknown viruses carried by midges

Research carried out by scientists in the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation's Centre for Virus Research (CVR), and published in a recent edition of Viruses, describes how Scotland’s biting midge population carries previously-unknown viruses.

Close up image of midge

The newly-identified viruses were found to be sufficiently different from known species. However, there is currently no evidence that these viruses pose a threat to humans.

Lead author Ms Sejal Modha, from the Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health, said: “The technology we used allowed us to look at the viruses carried by midges in a way that can’t be done in the lab, expanding our knowledge of the insect viruses in a way that could be very useful in future.

The study, “Metaviromics reveals unknown viral diversity in the biting midge Culicoides impunctatus” can be found in full here.

First published: 6 December 2019