Mosquito densoviruses (DNVs) are candidate agents for paratransgenic control of malaria and other vector-borne diseases. Unlike other mosquito DNVs, the Anopheles gambiae DNV (AgDNV) is non-pathogenic to larval mosquitoes. However, the cost of infection upon adults and the molecular mechanisms underpinning infection in the mosquito host are unknown. Using life table analysis, we show that AgDNV infection has minimal effects on An. gambiae survival (no significant effect in 2 replicates and a slight 2 day survival decrease in the third replicate). Using microarrays, we show that AgDNV has very minimal effect on the adult mosquito transcriptome, with only 4-15 genes differentially regulated depending on the statistical criteria imposed. The minimal impact upon global transcription provides some mechanistic understanding of lack of virus pathogenicity, suggesting a long co-evolutionary history that has shifted towards avirulence. From an applied standpoint, lack of strong induced fitness costs makes AgDNV an attractive agent for paratransgenic malaria control.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)