Mayaro virus is a mosquito-borne Alphavirus
endemic to forests of tropical South America with a sylvatic cycle involving non-human primates and Haemagogus
mosquitoes. Human infection with Mayaro virus causes a febrile illness and long-lasting arthralgia and cases are often associated with exposure to tropical forest habitats. Human movement between tropical forest habitats and urban settings may allow for imported cases and subsequent local transmission by domestic mosquito Aedes aegypti
. The relative importance of Ae. aegypti
as a vector of Mayaro virus may depend on the pathogenic effects of the virus on fitness correlates, especially those entomological parameters that relate to vectorial capacity. We performed mosquito infection studies and compared adult survival and fecundity of females from Brazilian and Floridian populations of Ae. aegypti
following oral ingestion of uninfectious (control) and Mayaro virus infectious blood. Mayaro virus infected and refractory mosquitoes had similar or 30–50% lower fecundity than control (unexposed) mosquitoes, suggesting a reproductive cost to mounting an immune response or phenotypic expression of refractoriness. Survival of adult female mosquitoes and targeted gene expression in the Toll and IMD pathways were not altered by Mayaro virus infection. Adult lifespan and fecundity estimates were independent of measured viral titer in the bodies of mosquitoes. The lack of adverse effects of infection status on female survival suggests that Mayaro virus will not alter vectorial capacity mediated by changes in this parameter.
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