Special Issue "Alphaviruses: Interactions between Arboviruses and Mosquitoes"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Barry W. Alto
Website
Guest Editor
Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, University of Florida, Vero Beach, USA
Interests: ecological interactions; arbovirus infection in peri-domestic and invasive mosquitoes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mosquito-borne Alphaviruses induce disease in humans and other animals ranging from mild acute febrile illness to severe disease, including life-long neurological complications. Recent outbreaks of chikungunya virus in the Indian Ocean, parts of Europe, and the Americas, and the potential for emergence of other arboviruses such as Mayaro, makes this group of arboviruses an emerging public health threat.  This special issue on Alphaviruses aims to provide a collection of research studies focused on interactions between arboviruses and mosquitoes.  In particular, the objective is to identify potential mosquito vectors for emerging arboviruses, geographic variation and potential determinants of mosquito vector competency, immune responses in mosquitoes in response to infection, and potential remedial techniques to interrupt the infection cycle in mosquitoes.  Identification of weak links between arbovirus replication and mosquito infection may provide an opportunity to inhibit arbovirus proliferation and reduce the risk of disease transmission.

Dr. Barry W. Alto
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Chikungunya virus
  • Mayaro virus
  • Mosquito-borne arboviruses
  • Alphavirus vector interactions
  • Immune response
  • Emerging arboviruses

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Oral Infection of Mayaro Virus on Fitness Correlates and Expression of Immune Related Genes in Aedes aegypti
Viruses 2020, 12(7), 719; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12070719 - 02 Jul 2020
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alphaviruses: Interactions between Arboviruses and Mosquitoes)
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Open AccessArticle
Distinct New York City Aedes albopictus Mosquito Populations Display Differences in Salivary Gland Protein D7 Diversity and Chikungunya Virus Replication
Viruses 2020, 12(7), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12070698 - 28 Jun 2020
Abstract
In an increasingly interconnected world, the exposure and subsequent spread of emergent viruses has become inevitable. This is particularly true for Aedes (Ae.) mosquito-vectored viruses, whose range has increased over the past decade from tropical to temperate regions. However, it is [...] Read more.
In an increasingly interconnected world, the exposure and subsequent spread of emergent viruses has become inevitable. This is particularly true for Aedes (Ae.) mosquito-vectored viruses, whose range has increased over the past decade from tropical to temperate regions. However, it is unclear if all populations of Ae. mosquitoes in temperate New York City are able to successfully replicate and transmit arboviruses. To answer this question, we reared Ae. albopictus mosquitoes living in a temperate climate from three locations in New York City. We first sequenced the salivary antiviral protein D7 from individual mosquitoes in each population and found single nucleotide variants that are both shared and unique for each Ae. albopictus population. We then fed each population chikungunya virus (CHIKV) via an artificial blood meal. All three mosquito populations could be infected with CHIKV, yet viral titers differed between populations at 7 days post infection. Moreover, we found that these mosquitoes could transmit CHIKV to mice, and that virus RNA reached the saliva as early as two days post infection. Upon sequencing of the saliva CHIKV genomic RNA, we found mutations at sites correlated with increased transmission and virulence. These studies show that NYC Ae. albopictus populations can be infected with and transmit CHIKV, CHIKV is able to evolve in these mosquitoes, and that host salivary factors display population-specific diversity. Taken together, these studies highlight the need to study how distinct mosquito populations control viral infections, both at the virus and host level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alphaviruses: Interactions between Arboviruses and Mosquitoes)
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Open AccessArticle
Ross River Virus Provokes Differentially Expressed MicroRNA and RNA Interference Responses in Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes
Viruses 2020, 12(7), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12070695 - 27 Jun 2020
Abstract
Alphaviruses are globally distributed and predominately transmitted by mosquitoes. Aedes species are common vectors for the clinically important alphaviruses—Chikungunya, Sindbis, and Ross River (RRV) viruses—with Aedes aegypti also being a vector for the flaviviruses dengue, Yellow Fever, and Zika viruses. Ae. aegypti was [...] Read more.
Alphaviruses are globally distributed and predominately transmitted by mosquitoes. Aedes species are common vectors for the clinically important alphaviruses—Chikungunya, Sindbis, and Ross River (RRV) viruses—with Aedes aegypti also being a vector for the flaviviruses dengue, Yellow Fever, and Zika viruses. Ae. aegypti was putatively implicated in the large 1979–1980 South Pacific Islands outbreak of RRV—the leading cause of arboviral disease in Australia today. The RNA interference (RNAi) defense response in mosquitoes involves a number of small RNAs, with their kinetics induced by alphaviruses being poorly understood, particularly at the tissue level. We compared the small RNA profiles between RRV-infected and non-infected Ae. aegypti midgut and fat body tissues at 2, 6, and 12 days post-inoculation (dpi). RRV induced an incremental RNAi response, yielding short interfering and P-element-induced-wimpy-testis (PIWI)-interacting RNAs. Fourteen host microRNAs were differentially expressed due to RRV with the majority in the fat body at 2 dpi. The largely congruent pattern of microRNA regulation with previous reports for alphaviruses and divergence from those for flaviviruses suggests a degree of conservation, whereas patterns of microRNA expression unique to this study provide novel insights into the tissue-specific host-virus attributes of Ae. aegypti responses to this previously unexplored old-world alphavirus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alphaviruses: Interactions between Arboviruses and Mosquitoes)
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