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Open AccessArticle

Experimental Assessment of Zika Virus Mechanical Transmission by Aedes aegypti

Laboratory of Vector Control Research, Institut Pasteur of Guadeloupe—Lieu-dit Morne Jolivière, 97139 Les Abymes, Guadeloupe, France
Dermatology and Clinical Immunology Unit, Guadeloupe University Hospital, 97159 Pointe-à-Pitre Cedex, Guadeloupe, France
INSERM Unite 1234, Normandie University, UNIROUEN, 76000 Rouen, France
Microbiology Laboratory, Guadeloupe University Hospital, 97159 Pointe-à-Pitre Cedex, Guadeloupe, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(8), 695;
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 25 July 2019 / Accepted: 27 July 2019 / Published: 31 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmission Dynamics of Insect Viruses)
The pandemic emergence of several mosquito-borne viruses highlights the need to understand the different ways in which they can be transmitted by vectors to human hosts. In this study, we evaluated the propensity of Aedes aegypti to transmit mechanically Zika virus (ZIKV) using an experimental design. Mosquitoes were allowed to feed on ZIKV-infected blood and were then rapidly transferred to feed on ZIKV-free blood until they finished their meal. The uninfected blood meals, the mosquito abdomens, as well as the mouthparts dissected from fully and partially engorged mosquitoes were analyzed using RT-qPCR and/or virus titration. All the fully engorged mosquito abdomens were ZIKV-infected, whereas their mouthparts were all ZIKV-negative. Nonetheless, one of the partially engorged mosquitoes carried infectious particles on mouthparts. No infectious virus was found in the receiver blood meals, while viral RNA was detected in 9% of the samples (2/22). Thus, mechanical transmission of ZIKV may sporadically occur via Ae. aegypti bite. However, as the number of virions detected on mouthparts (2 particles) is not sufficient to induce infection in a naïve host, our results indicate that mechanical transmission does not impact ZIKV epidemiology. View Full-Text
Keywords: ZIKV; Aedes aegypti; Arbovirus; Mechanical transmission ZIKV; Aedes aegypti; Arbovirus; Mechanical transmission
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MDPI and ACS Style

Boullis, A.; Cordel, N.; Herrmann-Storck, C.; Vega-Rúa, A. Experimental Assessment of Zika Virus Mechanical Transmission by Aedes aegypti. Viruses 2019, 11, 695.

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