BackgroundA Chikungunya (CHIK) outbreak hit La Réunion Island in 2005–2006. The implicated vector was Aedes albopictus. Here, we present the first study on the susceptibility of Ae. albopictus populations to sympatric CHIKV isolates from La Réunion Island and compare it to other virus/vector combinations.Methodology and FindingsWe orally infected 8 Ae. albopictus collections from La Réunion and 3 from Mayotte collected in March 2006 with two Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) from La Réunion: (i) strain 05.115 collected in June 2005 with an Alanine at the position 226 of the glycoprotein E1 and (ii) strain 06.21 collected in November 2005 with a substitution A226V. Two other CHIKV isolates and four additional mosquito strains/species were also tested. The viral titer of the infectious blood-meal was 107 plaque forming units (pfu)/mL. Dissemination rates were assessed by immunofluorescent staining on head squashes of surviving females 14 days after infection. Rates were at least two times higher with CHIKV 06.21 compared to CHIKV 05.115. In addition, 10 individuals were analyzed every day by quantitative RT-PCR. Viral RNA was quantified on (i) whole females and (ii) midguts and salivary glands of infected females. When comparing profiles, CHIKV 06.21 produced nearly 2 log more viral RNA copies than CHIKV 05.115. Furthermore, females infected with CHIKV 05.115 could be divided in two categories: weakly susceptible or strongly susceptible, comparable to those infected by CHIKV 06.21. Histological analysis detected the presence of CHIKV in salivary glands two days after infection. In addition, Ae. albopictus from La Réunion was as efficient vector as Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus from Vietnam when infected with the CHIKV 06.21.ConclusionsOur findings support the hypothesis that the CHIK outbreak in La Réunion Island was due to a highly competent vector Ae. albopictus which allowed an efficient replication and dissemination of CHIKV 06.21.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) causes a major public health problem. In 2004, CHIKV began an unprecedented global expansion and has been responsible for epidemics in Africa, Asia, islands in the Indian Ocean region, and surprisingly, in temperate regions, such as Europe. Intriguingly, no local transmission of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) had been reported in the Americas until recently, despite the presence of vectors and annually reported imported cases. Here, we assessed the vector competence of 35 American Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito populations for three CHIKV genotypes. We also compared the number of viral particles of different CHIKV strains in mosquito saliva at two different times postinfection. Primarily, viral dissemination rates were high for all mosquito populations irrespective of the tested CHIKV isolate. In contrast, differences in transmission efficiency (TE) were underlined in populations of both species through the Americas, suggesting the role of salivary glands in selecting CHIKV for highly efficient transmission. Nonetheless, both mosquito species were capable of transmitting all three CHIKV genotypes, and TE reached alarming rates as high as 83.3% and 96.7% in A. aegypti and A. albopictus populations, respectively. A. albopictus better transmitted the epidemic mutant strain CHIKV_0621 of the East-Central-South African (ECSA) genotype than did A. aegypti, whereas the latter species was more capable of transmitting the original ECSA CHIKV_115 strain and also the Asian genotype CHIKV_NC. Therefore, a high risk of establishment and spread of CHIKV throughout the tropical, subtropical, and even temperate regions of the Americas is more real than ever.
In September 2010, autochthonous transmission of chikungunya virus was recorded in southeastern France, where the Aedes albopictus mosquito vector is present. Sequence analysis of the viral genomes of imported and autochthonous isolates indicated new features for the potential emergence and spread of the virus in Europe.
Background Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are potential vectors of chikungunya virus (CHIKV). The recent CHIKV outbreaks were caused by a new variant characterized by a mutation in the E1 glycoprotein gene (E1-226V) which has favored a better transmissibility by Ae. albopictus. As Ae. albopictus tends to replace Ae. aegypti in many regions, one question remained: is Ae. albopictus as efficient as Ae. aegypti to transmit the variant E1-226V of CHIKV?Methodology and FindingsWe infected orally both species with the variant E1-226V and estimated the infection, the viral dissemination, and the transmission rate by real time RT-PCR. Additionally, we used an in vitro assay to determine the amount of virus delivered by mosquitoes in their saliva. We found that Ae. aegypti as well as Ae. albopictus ensured a high replication of the virus which underwent an efficient dissemination as detectable in the salivary glands at day 2 post-infection (pi). Infectious CHIKV particles were delivered by salivary glands from day 2 with a maximum at day 6 pi for Ae. albopictus (103.3 PFU) and day 7 pi for Ae. aegypti (102.5 PFU).Conclusions Ae. albopictus is slightly more efficient than Ae. aegypti to transmit the variant E1-226V of CHIKV. These results will help to design an efficient vector control to limit transmission as soon as the first human cases are diagnosed.
Wolbachia inherited bacteria are able to invade insect populations using cytoplasmic incompatibility and provide new strategies for controlling mosquito-borne tropical diseases, such as dengue. The overreplicating wMelPop strain was recently shown to strongly inhibit the replication of dengue virus when introduced into Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, as well as to stimulate chronic immune upregulation. Here we show that stable introduction of the wMel strain of Drosophila melanogaster into Aedes albopictus, a vector of dengue and other arboviruses, abolished the transmission capacity of dengue virus-challenged mosquitoes. Immune up-regulation was observed in the transinfected line, but at a much lower level than that previously found for transinfected Ae. aegypti. Transient infection experiments suggest that this difference is related to Ae. albopictus immunotolerance of Wolbachia, rather than to the Wolbachia strain used. This study provides an example of strong pathogen inhibition in a naturally Wolbachia-infected mosquito species, demonstrating that this inhibition is not limited to naturally naïve species, and suggests that the Wolbachia strain is more important than host background for viral inhibition. Complete bidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility was observed with WT strains infected with the naturally occurring Ae. albopictus Wolbachia, and this provides a mechanism for introducing wMel into natural populations of this species.
Mosquitoes transmit several pathogenic viruses, for example, the chikungunya and Zika viruses. In mosquito cells, virus replication intermediates in the form of double-stranded RNA are cleaved by Dcr2 into 21-nucleotide-long siRNAs, which in turn are used by Ago2 to target the virus genome. A different class of virus-derived small RNAs, PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), have also been found in infected insect cells. These piRNAs are longer and are produced in a Dcr2-independent manner. The only known antiviral protein in the PIWI family is Piwi4, which is not involved in piRNA production. It is associated with key proteins of the siRNA and piRNA pathways, although its antiviral function is independent of their actions.
Arboviruses are transmitted by mosquitoes and other arthropods to humans and animals. The risk associated with these viruses is increasing worldwide, including new emergence in Europe and the Americas. Anopheline mosquitoes are vectors of human malaria but are believed to transmit one known arbovirus, o’nyong-nyong virus, whereas Aedes mosquitoes transmit many. Anopheles interactions with viruses have been little studied, and the initial antiviral response in the midgut has not been examined. Here, we determine the antiviral immune pathways of the Anopheles gambiae midgut, the initial site of viral infection after an infective blood meal. We compare them with the responses of the post-midgut systemic compartment, which is the site of the subsequent disseminated viral infection. Normal viral infection of the midgut requires bacterial flora and is inhibited by the activities of immune deficiency (Imd), JAK/STAT, and Leu-rich repeat immune factors. We show that the exogenous siRNA pathway, thought of as the canonical mosquito antiviral pathway, plays no detectable role in antiviral defense in the midgut but only protects later in the systemic compartment. These results alter the prevailing antiviral paradigm by describing distinct protective mechanisms in different body compartments and infection stages. Importantly, the presence of the midgut bacterial flora is required for full viral infectivity to Anopheles, in contrast to malaria infection, where the presence of the midgut bacterial flora is required for protection against infection. Thus, the enteric flora controls a reciprocal protection tradeoff in the vector for resistance to different human pathogens.
Background Mosquitoes are the most important invertebrate viral vectors in humans and harbor a high diversity of understudied viruses, which has been shown in many mosquito virome studies in recent years. These studies generally performed metagenomics sequencing on pools of mosquitoes, without assessment of the viral diversity in individual mosquitoes. To address this issue, we applied our optimized viral metagenomics protocol (NetoVIR) to compare the virome of single and pooled Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes collected from different locations in Guadeloupe, in 2016 and 2017. Results The total read number and viral reads proportion of samples containing a single mosquito have no significant difference compared with those of pools containing five mosquitoes, which proved the feasibility of using single mosquito for viral metagenomics. A comparative analysis of the virome revealed a higher abundance and more diverse eukaryotic virome in Aedes aegypti , whereas Culex quinquefasciatus harbors a richer and more diverse phageome. The majority of the identified eukaryotic viruses were mosquito-species specific. We further characterized the genomes of 11 novel eukaryotic viruses. Furthermore, qRT-PCR analyses of the six most abundant eukaryotic viruses indicated that the majority of individual mosquitoes were infected by several of the selected viruses with viral genome copies per mosquito ranging from 267 to 1.01 × 10 8 (median 7.5 × 10 6 ) for Ae . aegypti and 192 to 8.69 × 10 6 (median 4.87 × 10 4 ) for Cx . quinquefasciatus . Additionally, in Cx . quinquefasciatus , a number of phage contigs co-occurred with several marker genes of Wolbachia sp. strain wPip. Conclusions We firstly demonstrate the feasibility to use single mosquito for viral metagenomics, which can provide much more precise virome profiles of mosquito populations. Interspecific comparisons show striking differences in abundance and diversity between the viromes of Ae . aegypti and Cx . quinquefasciatus . Those two mosquito species seem to have their own relatively stable "core eukaryotic virome", which might have important implications for the competence to transmit important medically relevant arboviruses. The presence of Wolbachia in Cx . quinquefasciatus might explain (1) the lower overall viral load compared to Ae . aegypti ...
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