Insect-specific viruses detected in laboratory mosquito colonies and their potential implications for experiments evaluating arbovirus vector competence

Bethany G. Bolling, Nikos Vasilakis, Hilda Guzman, Steven G. Widen, Thomas G. Wood, Vsevolod L. Popov, Saravanan Thangamani, Robert B. Tesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the detection and characterization of insect-specific viruses in field-collected mosquitoes. Evidence suggests that these viruses are ubiquitous in nature and that many are maintained by vertical transmission in mosquito populations. Some studies suggest that the presence of insect-specific viruses may inhibit replication of a super-infecting arbovirus, thus altering vector competence of the mosquito host. Accordingly, we screened our laboratory mosquito colonies for insect-specific viruses. Pools of colony mosquitoes were homogenized and inoculated into cultures of Aedes albopictus (C6/36) cells. The infected cells were examined by electron microscopy and deep sequencing was performed on RNA extracts. Electron micrograph images indicated the presence of three different viruses in three of our laboratory mosquito colonies. Potential implications of these findings for vector competence studies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-428
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume92
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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