Genetic Drift during Systemic Arbovirus Infection of Mosquito Vectors Leads to Decreased Relative Fitness during Host Switching

Nathan D. Grubaugh, James Weger-Lucarelli, Reyes A. Murrieta, Joseph R. Fauver, Selene M. Garcia-Luna, Abhishek Prasad, William C. Black, Gregory D. Ebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

The emergence of mosquito-borne RNA viruses, such as West Nile virus (WNV), is facilitated by genetically complex virus populations within hosts. Here, we determine whether WNV enzootic (Culex tarsalis, Cx. quinquefasciatus, and Cx. pipiens) and bridge vectors (Aedes aegypti) have differential impacts on viral mutational diversity and fitness. During systemic mosquito infection, WNV faced stochastic reductions in genetic diversity that rapidly was recovered during intra-tissue population expansions. Interestingly, this intrahost selection and diversification was mosquito species dependent with Cx. tarsalis and Cx. quinquefasciatus exhibiting greater WNV divergence. However, recovered viral populations contained a preponderance of potentially deleterious mutations (i.e., high mutational load) and had lower relative fitness in avian cells compared to input virus. These findings demonstrate that the adaptive potential associated with mosquito transmission varies depending on the mosquito species and carries a significant fitness cost in vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-492
Number of pages12
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 13 2016

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Grubaugh, N. D., Weger-Lucarelli, J., Murrieta, R. A., Fauver, J. R., Garcia-Luna, S. M., Prasad, A., Black, W. C., & Ebel, G. D. (2016). Genetic Drift during Systemic Arbovirus Infection of Mosquito Vectors Leads to Decreased Relative Fitness during Host Switching. Cell Host and Microbe, 19(4), 481-492. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2016.03.002