Transmission potential of two chimeric chikungunya vaccine candidates in the urban mosquito vectors, Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus

Justin R. Darwin, Joan L. Kenney, Scott Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an emerging, mosquito-borne alphavirus that has caused major epidemics in Africa and Asia. We developed chimeric vaccine candidates using the non-structural protein genes of either Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) attenuated vaccine strain TC-83 or a naturally attenuated strain of eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) and the structural genes of CHIKV. Because the transmission of genetically modified live vaccine strains is undesirable because of the potentially unpredictable evolution of these viruses as well as the potential for reversion, we evaluated the ability of these vaccines to infect the urban CHIKV vectors, Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus. Both vaccine candidates exhibited significantly lower infection and dissemination rates compared with the parent alphaviruses. Intrathoracic inoculations indicated that reduced infectivity was mediated by midgut infection barriers in both species. These results indicate a low potential for transmission of these vaccine strains in the event that a vaccinee became viremic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1012-1015
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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