Public Release: 

Transmission potential of dengue virus

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Researchers report the transmission potential of dengue virus (DENV) by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Dengue, a self-limiting arboviral disease, is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The disease has no treatment, and efforts to suppress Ae. aegypti populations have failed to control the spread of dengue in most endemic countries, raising a need for improved vaccines and disease management approaches. Lauren Carrington and colleagues explored differences in dengue virus (DENV) transmission between wild-type (WT) Ae. aegypti and Ae. aegypti infected with the wMel strain of the bacterium Wolbachia, which has been associated with a reduced susceptibility to dengue in Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. In direct human-mosquito feeding experiments involving dengue patients from Vietnam, the authors found that wMel-infected mosquitoes exhibited reduced susceptibility to DENV and had an extended incubation period for the virus, compared with WT mosquitoes. Next, the authors compared DENV transmission potential in mosquitoes reared under field and laboratory conditions using indirect blood feeding, and found that field-reared WT mosquitoes were more likely than lab-reared WT mosquitoes to harbor infectious virus. Moreover, the relative difference between WT and wMel mosquitoes with infectious virus was greater for field-reared mosquitoes than lab-reared mosquitoes, suggesting that laboratory conditions may underestimate the magnitude of the anti-DENV blocking effect in wMel mosquitoes. According to the authors, the findings carry implications for the biocontrol of DENV and other arboviruses.

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Article #17-15788: "Field- and clinically derived estimates of Wolbachia-mediated blocking of dengue virus transmission potential in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes," by Lauren Carrington et al.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Carrington, University of Melbourne, AUSTRALIA; e-mail: <lcarrington@oucru.org>

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