Two chimeric vaccine candidates for Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) were developed by inserting the structural protein genes of either a North American (NA) or South American (SA) EEEV into a Sindbis virus (SINV) backbone. To assess the effect of chimerization on mosquito infectivity, experimental infections of two potential North American bridge vectors of EEEV, Aedes sollicitans and Ae. taeniorhynchus, were attempted. Both species were susceptible to oral infection with all viruses after ingestion of high titer blood meals of ca. 7.0 log10 plaque-forming units/mL. Dissemination rates for SIN/NAEEEV (0 of 56) and SIN/SAEEEV (1 of 54) were low in Ae. taeniorhynchus and no evidence of transmission potential was observed. In contrast, the chimeras disseminated more efficiently in Ae. sollicitans (19 of 68 and 13 of 57, respectively) and were occasionally detected in the saliva of this species. These results indicate that chimerization of the vaccine candidates reduces infectivity. However, its impact on dissemination and potential transmission is mosquito species-specific.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases