Hundreds of previously unknown new viruses present in the body of insects have been identified following research published in PLOS Pathogens and carried out by a team of scientists at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin.
“Every new virus we find could be a cause of previously unknown diseases, both in humans and livestock,” says Christian Drosten, director of the Institute of Virology and one of the authors of the study for which it is important to identify and replenish our database of known viruses because then it may be easier to recognize the cause of new or even unusual diseases that may happen to us.
To carry out this study, the researchers used the largest international database of transcriptomes on insects. The researchers considered all types of insects, not just mosquitoes and other insects that come into contact with blood, i.e. those most dangerous in terms of virus transmission.
In total, they considered 1283 species of insects and discovered hundreds of new viruses that can be included in at least 20 new genera.
These new identifications may perhaps prove useful in solving some of those cases of viral infections where the virus could not be identified.