This paper reports the results of a series of laboratory experiments to determine the infectivity and pathogenesis of iridescent virus type 22 (IV 22) for six species of mosquitoes, phlebotomine sand flies and triatomid bugs. Following inoculation, IV 22 replicated in all of the species tested, without producing noticeable mortality within a 14 day observation period. Examination of the infected insects by immunofluorescence demonstrated large amounts of viral antigen in many different organs. Electron microscopy done on infected mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) showed large numbers of virus particles within cells of the fat body, muscle tracheal and midgut epithelium. Virus replication in the mosquitoes was confined to host cell cytoplasm and was similar to that described in the natural blackfly (Simulium) host. Transovarial transmission of IV 22 could not be demonstraed in A. aegypti, and only a small percentage of mosquito larvae could be infected orally. Results of these experiments are compatible with observations of other iridescent viruses; IV 22 is highly infectious for a wide range of insects when introduced into their hemolymph, but it is not very infectious per os. These characteristics would appear to limit its value as a potential biocontrol agent for Diptera.
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