Infection and dissemination of venezuelan equine encephalitis virus in the epidemic mosquito vector, Aedes taeniorhynchus

Darci R. Smith, Nicole C. Arrigo, Grace Leal, Linda E. Muehlberger, Scott C. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mosquito Aedes taeniorhynchus is an important epidemic vector of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), but detailed studies of its infection are lacking. We compared infection by an epidemic VEEV strain to that by an enzootic strain using virus titrations, immunohistochemistry, and a virus expressing the green fluorescent protein. Ae. taeniorhynchus was more susceptible to the epidemic strain, which initially infected the posterior midgut and occasionally the anterior midgut and cardia. Once dissemination beyond the midgut occurred, virus was present in nearly all tissues. Transmission of the epidemic strain to mice was first detected 4 days after infection. In contrast, the enzootic strain did not efficiently infect midgut cells but replicated in muscles and nervous tissue on dissemination. Because VEEV emergence can depend on adaptation to epidemic vectors, these results show that epidemic/enzootic strain comparisons not only comprise a useful model system to study alphavirus transmission by mosquitoes, but also have important public health implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-187
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume77
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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