30th August 2017 - Journal of Virological Methods
With its small size and low cost, the hand-held MinION sequencer is a powerful tool for in-field surveillance. Using a metagenomic approach, it allows non-targeted detection of viruses in a sample within a few hours. This study aimed to determine the ability of the MinION to metagenomically detect and characterise a virus from an infected mosquito. RNA was extracted from an Aedes notoscriptus mosquito infected with Ross River virus (RRV), converted into cDNA and sequenced on the MinION. Bioinformatic analysis of the MinION reads led to detection of full-length RRV, with reads of up to 2.5 kb contributing to the assembly. The cDNA was also sequenced on the MiSeq sequencer, and both platforms recovered the RRV genome with >98% accuracy. This proof of concept study demonstrates the metagenomic detection of an arbovirus, using the MinION, directly from a mosquito with minimal sample purification.