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Open AccessArticle

Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) Immune Responses with Different Feeding Regimes Following Infection by the Entomopathogenic Fungus Metarhizium anisopliae

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Laboratório Integrado de Bioquímica – Instituto de Biodiversidade e Sustentabilidade – NUPEM, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Macaé, RJ 27965-045, Brazil
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Laboratório de Entomologia e Fitopatologia – CCTA, Universidade Estadual do Norte FluminenseDarcy Ribeiro, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ 28013-603, Brazil
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Laboratório Integrado de Ciências Morfofuncionais – Instituto de Biodiversidade e Sustentabilidade –NUPEM, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Macaé, RJ 27965-045, Brazil
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Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia em Entomologia Molecular – INCT-EM, Rio de Janeiro 21941-590, Brazil
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Laboratório Integrado de Biociências Translacionais – Instituto de Biodiversidade e Sustentabilidade – NUPEM, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Macaé, RJ 27965-045, Brazil
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(2), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11020095
Received: 7 December 2019 / Revised: 17 January 2020 / Accepted: 30 January 2020 / Published: 1 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Immunity and Pathology)
The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the most notorious vector of illness-causing viruses. The use of entomopathogenic fungi as bioinsecticides is a promising alternative for the development of novel mosquito control strategies. We investigate whether differences in immune responses could be responsible for modifications in survival rates of insects following different feeding regimes. Sucrose and blood-fed adult A. aegypti females were sprayed with M. anisopliae 1 × 106 conidia mL1, and after 48 h, the midgut and fat body were dissected. We used RT-qPCR to monitor the expression of Cactus and REL1 (Toll pathway), IMD, REL2, and Caspar (IMD pathway), STAT and PIAS (JAK-STAT pathway), as well as the expression of antimicrobial peptides (Defensin A, Attacin and Cecropin G). REL1 and REL2 expression in both the midgut and fat body were higher in blood-fed fungus-challenged A. aegypti than in sucrose-fed counterparts. Interestingly, infection of sucrose-fed insects induced Cactus expression in the fat body, a negative regulator of the Toll pathway. The IMD gene was upregulated in the fat body in response to fungal infection after a blood meal. Additionally, we observed the induction of antimicrobial peptides in the blood-fed fungus-challenged insects. This study suggests that blood-fed A. aegypti are less susceptible to fungal infection due to the rapid induction of Toll and IMD immune pathways.
Keywords: dengue; Zika; vector; immune response; gene expression dengue; Zika; vector; immune response; gene expression
MDPI and ACS Style

Cabral, S.; de Paula, A.; Samuels, R.; da Fonseca, R.; Gomes, S.; Silva, J.R.; Mury, F. Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) Immune Responses with Different Feeding Regimes Following Infection by the Entomopathogenic Fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. Insects 2020, 11, 95.

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