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Open AccessArticle

Potential for Co-Infection of a Mosquito-Specific Flavivirus, Nhumirim Virus, to Block West Nile Virus Transmission in Mosquitoes

Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Virales Humanas, Pergamino 2700, Argentina
Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, Hubei 430071, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Robert B. Tesh, Bethany Bolling, Scott C. Weaver and Nikolaos Vasilakis
Viruses 2015, 7(11), 5801-5812;
Received: 11 September 2015 / Revised: 28 October 2015 / Accepted: 3 November 2015 / Published: 11 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of the Insect Microbiome on Arbovirus Transmission)
Nhumirim virus (NHUV) is an insect-specific virus that phylogenetically affiliates with dual-host mosquito-borne flaviviruses. Previous in vitro co-infection experiments demonstrated prior or concurrent infection of Aedes albopictus C6/36 mosquito cells with NHUV resulted in a 10,000-fold reduction in viral production of West Nile virus (WNV). This interference between WNV and NHUV was observed herein in an additional Ae. albopictus mosquito cell line, C7-10. A WNV 2K peptide (V9M) mutant capable of superinfection with a pre-established WNV infection demonstrated a comparable level of interference from NHUV as the parental WNV strain in C6/36 and C7-10 cells. Culex quinquefasciatus and Culex pipiens mosquitoes intrathoracically inoculated with NHUVandWNV, or solely withWNVas a control, were allowed to extrinsically incubate the viruses up to nine and 14 days, respectively, and transmissibility and replication of WNV was determined. The proportion of Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes capable of transmitting WNV was significantly lower for the WNV/NHUV group than the WNV control at seven and nine days post inoculation (dpi), while no differences were observed in the Cx. pipiens inoculation group. By dpi nine, a 40% reduction in transmissibility in mosquitoes from the dual inoculation group was observed compared to the WNV-only control. These data indicate the potential that infection of some Culex spp. vectors with NHUV could serve as a barrier for efficient transmissibility of flaviviruses associated with human disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: superinfection exclusion; mosquito; inhibition; barrier; transmission superinfection exclusion; mosquito; inhibition; barrier; transmission
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Goenaga, S.; Kenney, J.L.; Duggal, N.K.; Delorey, M.; Ebel, G.D.; Zhang, B.; Levis, S.C.; Enria, D.A.; Brault, A.C. Potential for Co-Infection of a Mosquito-Specific Flavivirus, Nhumirim Virus, to Block West Nile Virus Transmission in Mosquitoes. Viruses 2015, 7, 5801-5812.

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