Reversion to ancestral Zika virus NS1 residues increases competence of Aedes albopictus.
ABSTRACT: Both mosquito species-specific differences and virus strain -specific differences impact vector competence. Previous results in our laboratory with individual populations of N. American mosquitoes support studies suggesting Aedes aegypti are more competent than Ae. albopictus for American Zika virus (ZIKV) strains and demonstrate that U.S. Ae. albopictus have higher competence for an ancestral Asian ZIKV strain. A982V, an amino acid substitution in the NS1 gene acquired prior to the American outbreak, has been shown to increase competence in Ae. aegypti. We hypothesized that variability in the NS1 could therefore contribute to species-specific differences and developed a reverse genetics system based on a 2016 ZIKV isolate from Honduras (ZIKV-WTic) to evaluate the phenotypic correlates of individual amino acid substitutions. In addition to A982V, we evaluated G894A, which was acquired during circulation in the Americas. Reversion of 982 and 894 to ancestral residues increased infectivity, transmissibility and viral loads in Ae. albopictus but had no effect on competence or replication in Ae. aegypti. In addition, while host cell-specific differences in NS1 secretion were measured, with significantly higher secretion in mammalian cells relative to mosquito cells, strain-specific differences in secretion were not detected, despite previous reports. These results demonstrate that individual mutations in NS1 can influence competence in a species-specific manner independent of differences in NS1 secretion and further indicate that ancestral NS1 residues confer increased competence in Ae. albopictus. Lastly, experimental infections of Ifnar1-/- mice demonstrated that these NS1 substitutions can influence viral replication in the host and, specifically, that G894A could represent a compensatory change following a fitness loss from A982V with some viral genetic backgrounds. Together these data suggest a possible role for epistatic interactions in ZIKV fitness in invertebrate and vertebrate hosts and demonstrate that strains with increased transmission potential in U.S. Ae. albopictus could emerge.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that recently emerged in the South Pacific islands and Americas where unprecedented outbreaks were reported. Although Aedes aegypti is considered to be the main vector for ZIKV, other mosquito species have been shown to be potential vectors and differences in vector competence with respect to mosquito strain and ZIKV strain have been demonstrated. In this study we compared the vector competence of three mosquito species Aedes albopictus, Ae. aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus from Reunion Island for three ZIKV strains. METHODS:Five mosquito strains (2 strains of Ae. albopictus, 1 of Ae. aegypti and 2 of Cx. quinquefasciatus) were exposed to three ZIKV strains: one African strain (Dak84) and two Asian strains (PaRi_2015 and MAS66). The vector competence parameters (infection rate, dissemination efficiency and transmission efficiency) and viral loads were examined at 14 and 21 days post-infection. RESULTS:The two Cx. quinquefasciatus strains did not become infected and were therefore unable to either disseminate or transmit any of the three ZIKV strains. Aedes albopictus and Ae. aegypti strains were poorly competent for the two Asian ZIKV strains, while both mosquito species displayed higher infection rates, dissemination and transmission efficiencies for the African ZIKV Dak84 strain. However, this African ZIKV strain was better transmitted by Ae. aegypti as compared to Ae. albopictus. CONCLUSIONS:Our results show that both Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti, from Reunion Island, are more likely to be competent for ZIKV in contrast to Cx. quinquefasciatus which appeared refractory to all tested ZIKV strains. This improves our understanding of the role of mosquito species in the risk of the ZIKV emergence on Reunion Island.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Recent epidemics of Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Pacific and the Americas have highlighted its potential as an emerging pathogen of global importance. Both Aedes (Ae.) aegypti and Ae. albopictus are known to transmit ZIKV but variable vector competence has been observed between mosquito populations from different geographical regions and different virus strains. Since Australia remains at risk of ZIKV introduction, we evaluated the vector competence of local Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus for a Brazilian epidemic ZIKV strain. In addition, we evaluated the impact of daily temperature fluctuations around a mean of 28°C on ZIKV transmission and extrinsic incubation period. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Mosquitoes were orally challenged with a Brazilian ZIKV strain (8.8 log CCID50/ml) and maintained at either 28°C constant or fluctuating temperature conditions. At 3, 7 and 14 days post-infection (dpi), ZIKV RNA copies were quantified in mosquito bodies, as well as wings and legs, using qRT-PCR, while virus antigen in saliva (a proxy for transmission) was detected using a cell culture ELISA. Despite high body and disseminated infection rates in both vectors, the transmission rates of ZIKV in saliva of Ae. aegypti (50-60%) were significantly higher than in Ae. albopictus (10%) at 14 dpi. Both species supported a high viral load in bodies, with no significant differences between constant and fluctuating temperature conditions. However, a significant difference in viral load in wings and legs between species was observed, with higher titres in Ae. aegypti maintained at constant temperature conditions. For ZIKV transmission to occur in Ae. aegypti, a disseminated virus load threshold of 7.59 log10 copies had to be reached. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Australian Ae. aegypti are better able to transmit a Brazilian ZIKV strain than Ae. albopictus. The results are in agreement with the global consensus that Ae. aegypti is the major vector of ZIKV.
Project description:Rapid and significant range expansion of both Zika virus (ZIKV) and its <i>Aedes</i> vector species has resulted in ZIKV being declared a global health threat. Mean temperatures are projected to increase globally, likely resulting in alterations of the transmission potential of mosquito-borne pathogens. To understand the effect of diurnal temperature range on the vectorial capacity of <i>Ae. aegypti</i> and <i>Ae. albopictus</i> for ZIKV, longevity, blood-feeding and vector competence were assessed at two temperature regimes following feeding on infectious blood meals. Higher temperatures resulted in decreased longevity of <i>Ae. aegypti</i> [Log-rank test, χ2, df 35.66, 5, <i>P</i> < 0.001] and a decrease in blood-feeding rates of <i>Ae. albopictus</i> [Fisher's exact test, <i>P</i> < 0.001]. Temperature had a population and species-specific impact on ZIKV infection rates. Overall, <i>Ae. albopictus</i> reared at the lowest temperature regime demonstrated the highest vectorial capacity (0.53) and the highest transmission efficiency (57%). Increased temperature decreased vectorial capacity across groups yet more significant effects were measured with <i>Ae. aegypti</i> relative to <i>Ae. albopictus</i>. The results of this study suggest that future increases in temperature in the Americas could significantly impact vector competence, blood-feeding and longevity, and potentially decrease the overall vectorial capacity of <i>Aedes</i> mosquitoes in the Americas.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) has caused severe epidemics in South America beginning in 2015, following its spread through the Pacific. We comparatively assessed the vector competence of ten populations of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus from Brazil and two of Ae. aegypti and one of Culex quinquefasciatus from New Caledonia to transmit three ZIKV isolates belonging to African, Asian and American lineages. Recently colonized mosquitoes from eight distinct sites from both countries were orally challenged with the same viral load (107 TCID50/mL) and examined after 7, 14 and 21 days. Cx. quinquefasciatus was refractory to infection with all virus strains. In contrast, although competence varied with geographical origin, Brazilian and New Caledonian Ae. aegypti could transmit the three ZIKV lineages, with a strong advantage for the African lineage (the only one reaching saliva one-week after challenge). Brazilian Ae. albopictus populations were less competent than Ae. aegypti populations. Ae. albopictus generally exhibited almost no transmission for Asian and American lineages, but was efficient in transmitting the African ZIKV. Viral surveillance and mosquito control measures must be strengthened to avoid the spread of new ZIKV lineages and minimize the transmission of viruses currently circulating.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Zika virus (ZIKV) emerged in the Pacific Ocean and subsequently caused a dramatic Pan-American epidemic after its first appearance in the Northeast region of Brazil in 2015. The virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. We evaluated the role of temperature and infectious doses of ZIKV in vector competence of Brazilian populations of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Two Ae. aegypti (Rio de Janeiro and Natal) and two Ae. albopictus (Rio de Janeiro and Manaus) populations were orally challenged with five viral doses (102 to 106 PFU / ml) of a ZIKV strain (Asian genotype) isolated in Northeastern Brazil, and incubated for 14 and 21 days in temperatures mimicking the spring-summer (28°C) and winter-autumn (22°C) mean values in Brazil. Detection of viral particles in the body, head and saliva samples was done by plaque assays in cell culture for determining the infection, dissemination and transmission rates, respectively. Compared with 28°C, at 22°C, transmission rates were significantly lower for both Ae. aegypti populations, and Ae. albopictus were not able to transmit the virus. Ae. albopictus showed low transmission rates even when challenged with the highest viral dose, while both Ae. aegypti populations presented higher of infection, dissemination and transmission rates than Ae. albopictus. Ae. aegypti showed higher transmission efficiency when taking virus doses of 105 and 106 PFU/mL following incubation at 28°C; both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus were unable to transmit ZIKV with virus doses of 102 and 103 PFU/mL, regardless the incubation temperature. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:The ingested viral dose and incubation temperature were significant predictors of the proportion of mosquito's biting becoming infectious. Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus have the ability to transmit ZIKV when incubated at 28°C. However Brazilian populations of Ae. aegypti exhibit a much higher transmission potential for ZIKV than Ae. albopictus regardless the combination of infection dose and incubation temperature.
Project description:BACKGROUND:ZIKV is a new addition to the arboviruses circulating in the New World, with more than 1 million cases since its introduction in 2015. A growing number of studies have reported vector competence (VC) of Aedes mosquitoes from several areas of the world for ZIKV transmission. Some studies have used New World mosquitoes from disparate regions and concluded that these have a variable but relatively low competence for the Asian lineage of ZIKV. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Ten Aedes aegypti (L) and three Ae. albopictus (Skuse) collections made in 2016 from throughout Mexico were analyzed for ZIKV (PRVABC59-Asian lineage) VC. Mexican Ae. aegypti had high rates of midgut infection (MIR), dissemination (DIR) and salivary gland infection (SGIR) but low to moderate transmission rates (TR). It is unclear whether this low TR was due to heritable salivary gland escape barriers or to underestimating the amount of virus in saliva due to the loss of virus during filtering and random losses on surfaces when working with small volumes. VC varied among collections, geographic regions and whether the collection was made north or south of the Neovolcanic axis (NVA). The four rates were consistently lower in northeastern Mexico, highest in collections along the Pacific coast and intermediate in the Yucatan. All rates were lowest north of the NVA. It was difficult to assess VC in Ae. albopictus because rates varied depending upon the number of generations in the laboratory. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Mexican Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus are competent vectors of ZIKV. There is however large variance in vector competence among geographic sites and regions. At 14 days post infection, TR varied from 8-51% in Ae. aegypti and from 2-26% in Ae. albopictus.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A number of mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue virus (DENV), Usutu virus (USUV), West Nile virus (WNV) are autochthonously transmitted in Europe and six invasive mosquito species have been detected in this temperate region. This has increased the risk for the emergence of further mosquito-borne diseases. However, there is a paucity of information on whether European populations of invasive mosquito species are competent to transmit arboviruses. In this study, the susceptibility of Aedes albopictus originating from Spain and a laboratory-adapted colony of Aedes aegypti, was assessed for infection with, and transmission of Zika virus (ZIKV). Vertical transmission in both species was also assessed. METHODS:Aedes albopictus colonised from eggs collected in Spain and an existing colony of Ae. aegypti were fed infectious blood meals containing ZIKV (Polynesian strain) at 1.6 × 107 PFU/ml. Blood-fed mosquitoes were separated and maintained at 20 °C or 25 °C. Legs, saliva and bodies were sampled from specimens at 7, 14 and 21 days post-infection (dpi) in order to determine infection, dissemination and transmission rates. All samples were analysed by real-time RT-PCR using primers targeting the ZIKV NS1 gene. RESULTS:At 14 dpi and 21 dpi, ZIKV RNA was detected in the bodies of both species at both temperatures. However, live virus only was detected in the saliva of Ae. aegypti at 25 °C with a transmission rate of 44%. No evidence for virus expectoration was obtained for Ae. albopictus under any condition. Notably, ZIKV RNA was not detectable in the saliva of Ae. aegypti at 20 °C after 21 days. No vertical transmission of ZIKV was detected in this study. CONCLUSIONS:Experimental infection of Ae. albopictus colonized from Spain with ZIKV did not result in expectoration of virus in saliva in contrast to results for Ae. aegypti. No evidence of vertical transmission of virus was observed in this study. This suggests that this strain of Ae. albopictus is not competent for ZIKV transmission under the conditions tested.
Project description:Newly emerging or re-emerging arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are important causes of human morbidity and mortality worldwide. Arboviruses such as Dengue (DENV), Zika (ZIKV), Chikungunya (CHIKV), and West Nile virus (WNV) have undergone extensive geographic expansion in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. In the Americas the main vectors of DENV, ZIKV, and CHIKV are mosquito species adapted to urban environments, namely Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, whereas the main vector of WNV is Culex quinquefasciatus. Given the widespread distribution in the Americas and high permissiveness to arbovirus infection, these mosquito species may play a key role in the epidemiology of other arboviruses normally associated with sylvatic vectors. Here, we test this hypothesis by determining the vector competence of Ae. aegypti, Ae. albopictus, and Cx. quinquefasciatus to Mayaro (MAYV) virus, a sylvatic arbovirus transmitted mainly by Haemagogus janthinomys that has been causing an increasing number of outbreaks in South America, namely in Brazil. Using field mosquitoes from Brazil, female mosquitoes were experimentally infected, and their competence for infection and transmission rates of MAYV was evaluated. We found consistent infection rate for MAYV in Ae. aegypti (57.5%) and Ae. albopictus (61.6%), whereas very low rates were obtained for Cx. quinquefasciatus (2.5%). Concordantly, we observed high potential transmission ability in Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus (69.5% and 71.1% respectively), in contrast to Cx. quinquefasciatus, which could not transmit the MAYV. Notably, we found that very low quantities of virus present in the saliva (undetectable by RT-qPCR) were sufficiently virulent to guarantee transmission. Although Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes are not the main vectors for MAYV, our studies suggest that these mosquitoes could play a significant role in the transmission of this arbovirus, since both species showed significant vector competence for MAYV (Genotype D), under laboratory conditions.
Project description:<b>ABSTRACT</b>The two main Zika virus (ZIKV) vectors, <i>Aedes albopictus</i> and <i>Aedes aegypti</i> (invasive and native species, respectively), are present in Gabon (Central Africa). The aim of this study was to determine the entomological ZIKV risk associated with these mosquito species in Gabon by evaluating their vector competence for an African (i.e. representative of the endemic strains circulating in sub-Saharan Africa) and two Asian (i.e. representatives of exogenous epidemic strains that could be introduced) ZIKV strains. The transmission efficiency of one <i>Ae. aegypti</i> and two <i>Ae. albopictus</i> field-collected populations from Libreville and Franceville was assayed at day 7, 14 and 21 after experimental oral infection. The two mosquito species could transmit all three ZIKV strains already at day 7 post-infection, but transmission efficiency was higher for the African strain than the non-African strains (>60% versus <14%; incubation period of 14-21 days). The two mosquito species exhibited comparable vector competence for ZIKV, although the amount of viral particles (African strain) in saliva was significantly higher in <i>Ae. albopictus</i> than <i>Ae. aegypti</i> at day 14 post-infection. These findings suggest that overall, ZIKV risk in Gabon is mainly related to virus strains that circulate endemically across sub-Saharan Africa, although the transmission of non-African strains remain possible in case of introduction. Due to its high infestation indexes and ecological/geographical ranges, this risk appears mainly associated with <i>Ae. albopictus</i>. Vector surveillance and control methods against this invasive mosquito must be strengthened in the region to limit the risk of future outbreaks.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) is a Flavivirus (Flaviviridae) transmitted to humans mainly by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti is the primary epidemic vector of ZIKV and Ae. albopictus, the secondary one. However, the epidemiological role of both Aedes species in Central Africa where Ae. albopictus was recently introduced is poorly characterized. Field-collected strains of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus from different ecological settings in Central Africa were experimentally infected with a ZIKV strain isolated in West Africa. Mosquitoes were analysed at 14- and 21-days post-exposure. Both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus were able to transmit ZIKV but with higher overall transmission efficiency for Ae. aegypti (57.9%) compared to Ae. albopictus (41.5%). In addition, disseminated infection and transmission rates for both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus varied significantly according to the location where they were sampled from. We conclude that both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus are able to transmit ZIKV and may intervene as active Zika vectors in Central Africa. These findings could contribute to a better understanding of the epidemiological transmission of ZIKV in Central Africa and develop suitable strategy to prevent major ZIKV outbreaks in this region.