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Special Issue "Transmission Dynamics of Insect Viruses"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Kenneth A. Stapleford

Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: arbovirus; chikungunya virus; transmission; host–pathogen interactions; RNA viruses; Zika virus; genome replication; innate immunity; Sindbis virus; viral evolution; adaptation; vector–pathogen interactions; mosquito; pathogenesis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Insect viruses encompass a long and expanding list of not only emerging vector-borne human pathogens (Zika virus, chikungunya virus, dengue virus, Powassan virus) but also viruses that infect other mammals, plants, and insects which far outnumber the human pathogens. One fundamental and essential aspect of these viruses is the need to be transmitted for a successful viral life cycle. Insect virus inter-host transmission from insect vectors (mosquitoes, ticks) to a host (humans, plants) or from insect to insect is a dynamic process involving intra-host evolution and adaptation, host competence, viral persistence, and important host–pathogen interactions that facilitate and shape these essential steps in the viral life cycle.

Unfortunately, we understand little of how insect viruses are transmitted, both horizontally and vertically, having large gaps in our knowledge of this process. In this Special Issue of Viruses, we will explore the transmission dynamics of insect viruses through a series of research and review articles focusing on the inter- and intra-host mechanisms insect viruses use for emergence, transmission, and spread. Together, these articles will begin to address unanswered questions and provide a platform for future studies on insect virus transmission.

Dr. Kenneth A. Stapleford
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • transmission 
  • evolution 
  • insect 
  • arbovirus 
  • competence
  • vector 
  • adaptation 
  • host–pathogen interactions 
  • emergence 
  • persistence

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Assessment of Zika Virus Mechanical Transmission by Aedes Aegypti
Viruses 2019, 11(8), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11080695
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 25 July 2019 / Accepted: 27 July 2019 / Published: 31 July 2019
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Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmission Dynamics of Insect Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Transport via Macropinocytic Vesicles Is Crucial for Productive Infection with Bombyx Mori Nucleopolyhedrovirus
Viruses 2019, 11(7), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11070668
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 18 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 20 July 2019
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Abstract
Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) is a serious viral pathogen in the sericulture industry and enters host cells via macropinocytic endocytosis; however, the current understanding of the BmNPV entry mechanism remains limited. To confirm whether direct membrane fusion (DMF) results in productive BmNPV infection, [...] Read more.
Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) is a serious viral pathogen in the sericulture industry and enters host cells via macropinocytic endocytosis; however, the current understanding of the BmNPV entry mechanism remains limited. To confirm whether direct membrane fusion (DMF) results in productive BmNPV infection, DMF infectivity induced by low pH during BmNPV infection was investigated, and the infectious viral particle was traced using an eGFP-labeled virion. We found that BmNPV infection efficiently induced fluid uptake, which allowed BmNPV to bypass the cell membrane barrier via macropinocytosis. However, DMF induced by a low pH abolished the infection. While low pH is an essential condition for membrane fusion triggering, it is not sufficient for productive BmNPV infection, and DMF results in failure to transport the nucleocapsid into the nucleus. These results indicate that transport via macropinocytic vesicles facilitates BmNPV entry into the nucleus and contribute to our understanding of the BmNPV entry mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmission Dynamics of Insect Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Potential Interactions between Cellular miRNA and Arboviral Genomic RNA in the Yellow Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11060540
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Although the role of exogenous small interfering RNA (siRNA) and P-element induced wimpy testis (PIWI)-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathways in mosquito antiviral immunity is increasingly better understood, there is still little knowledge regarding the role of mosquito cellular microRNA (miRNA). Identifying direct interactions between [...] Read more.
Although the role of exogenous small interfering RNA (siRNA) and P-element induced wimpy testis (PIWI)-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathways in mosquito antiviral immunity is increasingly better understood, there is still little knowledge regarding the role of mosquito cellular microRNA (miRNA). Identifying direct interactions between the mosquito miRNAs and the RNA genome of arboviruses and choosing the relevant miRNA candidates to explore resulting antiviral mechanisms are critical. Here, we carried out genomic analyses to identify Aedes aegypti miRNAs that potentially interact with various lineages and genotypes of chikungunya, dengue, and Zika viruses. By using prediction tools with distinct algorithms, several miRNA binding sites were commonly found within different genotypes/and or lineages of each arbovirus. We further analyzed those miRNAs that could target more than one arbovirus, required a low energy threshold to form miRNA-viralRNA (vRNA) complexes, and predicted potential RNA structures using RNAhybrid software. We predicted miRNA candidates that might participate in regulating arboviral replication in Ae. aegypti. Even without any experimental validation, which should be done as a next step, this study can shed further light on the role of miRNA in mosquito innate immunity and targets for future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmission Dynamics of Insect Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Mosquito Small RNA Responses to West Nile and Insect-Specific Virus Infections in Aedes and Culex Mosquito Cells
Viruses 2019, 11(3), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11030271
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3776 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Small RNA mediated responses are essential for antiviral defence in mosquitoes, however, they appear to differ per virus-vector combination. To further investigate the diversity of small RNA responses against viruses in mosquitoes, we applied a small RNA deep sequencing approach on five mosquito [...] Read more.
Small RNA mediated responses are essential for antiviral defence in mosquitoes, however, they appear to differ per virus-vector combination. To further investigate the diversity of small RNA responses against viruses in mosquitoes, we applied a small RNA deep sequencing approach on five mosquito cell lines: Culex tarsalis CT cells, Aedes albopictus U4.4 and C6/36 cells, Ae. aegypti Aag2 cells (cleared from cell fusing agent virus and Culex Y virus (CYV) by repetitive dsRNA transfections) and Ae. pseudoscutellaris AP-61 cells. De novo assembly of small RNAs revealed the presence of Phasi Charoen-like virus (PCLV), Calbertado virus, Flock House virus and a novel narnavirus in CT cells, CYV in U4.4 cells, and PCLV in Aag2 cells, whereas no insect-specific viruses (ISVs) were detected in C6/36 and AP-61 cells. Next, we investigated the small RNA responses to the identified ISVs and to acute infection with the arthropod-borne West Nile virus (WNV). We demonstrate that AP-61 and C6/36 cells do not produce siRNAs to WNV infection, suggesting that AP-61, like C6/36, are Dicer-2 deficient. CT cells produced a strong siRNA response to the persistent ISVs and acute WNV infection. Interestingly, CT cells also produced viral PIWI-interacting (pi)RNAs to PCLV, but not to WNV or any of the other ISVs. In contrast, in U4.4 and Aag2 cells, WNV siRNAs, and pi-like RNAs without typical ping-pong piRNA signature were observed, while this signature was present in PCLV piRNAs in Aag2 cells. Together, our results demonstrate that mosquito small RNA responses are strongly dependent on both the mosquito cell type and/or the mosquito species and family of the infecting virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmission Dynamics of Insect Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase of Hubei Reo-Like Virus 7 by Next-Generation Sequencing in Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus Mosquitoes from Brazil
Viruses 2019, 11(2), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11020147
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 10 February 2019
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Abstract
Advancements in next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics have expanded our knowledge of the diversity of viruses (pathogens and non-pathogens) harbored by mosquitoes. Hubei reo-like virus 7 (HRLV 7) was recently detected by the virome analysis of fecal samples from migratory birds in Australia. We [...] Read more.
Advancements in next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics have expanded our knowledge of the diversity of viruses (pathogens and non-pathogens) harbored by mosquitoes. Hubei reo-like virus 7 (HRLV 7) was recently detected by the virome analysis of fecal samples from migratory birds in Australia. We now report the detection of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase sequences of HRLV 7 in pools of Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes species from the Brazilian Amazon forest. Phylogenetic inferences indicated that all HRLV 7 strains fall within the same independent clade. In addition, HRLV 7 shared a close ancestral lineage with the Dinovernavirus genus of the Reoviridae family. Our findings indicate that HRLV 7 is present in two species of mosquitoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmission Dynamics of Insect Viruses)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Effects of Arbovirus Multi-Host Life Cycles on Dinucleotide and Codon Usage Patterns
Viruses 2019, 11(7), 643; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11070643
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
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Abstract
Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) of vertebrates including dengue, zika, chikungunya, Rift Valley fever, and blue tongue viruses cause extensive morbidity and mortality in humans, agricultural animals, and wildlife across the globe. As obligate intercellular pathogens, arboviruses must be well adapted to the cellular and [...] Read more.
Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) of vertebrates including dengue, zika, chikungunya, Rift Valley fever, and blue tongue viruses cause extensive morbidity and mortality in humans, agricultural animals, and wildlife across the globe. As obligate intercellular pathogens, arboviruses must be well adapted to the cellular and molecular environment of both their arthropod (invertebrate) and vertebrate hosts, which are vastly different due to hundreds of millions of years of separate evolution. Here we discuss the comparative pressures on arbovirus RNA genomes as a result of a dual host life cycle, focusing on pressures that do not alter amino acids. We summarize what is currently known about arboviral genetic composition, such as dinucleotide and codon usage, and how cyclical infection of vertebrate and invertebrate hosts results in different genetic profiles compared with single-host viruses. To serve as a comparison, we compile what is known about arthropod tRNA, dinucleotide, and codon usages and compare this with vertebrates. Additionally, we discuss the potential roles of genetic robustness in arboviral evolution and how it may vary from other viruses. Overall, both arthropod and vertebrate hosts influence the resulting genetic composition of arboviruses, but a great deal remains to be investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmission Dynamics of Insect Viruses)
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Open AccessReview
Usutu Virus: An Arbovirus on the Rise
Viruses 2019, 11(7), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11070640
Received: 11 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
PDF Full-text (883 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Usutu virus (USUV) is a flavivirus that is drawing increasing attention because of its potential for emergence. First isolated in Africa, it was introduced into Europe where it caused significant outbreaks in birds, such as in Austria in 2001. Since then, its [...] Read more.
The Usutu virus (USUV) is a flavivirus that is drawing increasing attention because of its potential for emergence. First isolated in Africa, it was introduced into Europe where it caused significant outbreaks in birds, such as in Austria in 2001. Since then, its geographical distribution has rapidly expanded, with increased circulation, especially in the last few years. Similar to West Nile virus (WNV), the USUV enzootic transmission cycle involves Culex mosquitoes as vectors, and birds as amplifying reservoir hosts, with humans and other mammals likely being dead-end hosts. A similarity in the ecology of these two viruses, which co-circulate in several European countries, highlights USUV’s potential to become an important human pathogen. While USUV has had a severe impact on the blackbird population, the number of human cases remains low, with most infections being asymptomatic. However, some rare cases of neurological disease have been described, both in healthy and immuno-compromised patients. Here, we will discuss the transmission dynamics and the current state of USUV circulation in Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmission Dynamics of Insect Viruses)
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Open AccessReview
Antiviral RNAi in Insects and Mammals: Parallels and Differences
Viruses 2019, 11(5), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11050448
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 14 May 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
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Abstract
The RNA interference (RNAi) pathway is a potent antiviral defense mechanism in plants and invertebrates, in response to which viruses evolved suppressors of RNAi. In mammals, the first line of defense is mediated by the type I interferon system (IFN); however, the degree [...] Read more.
The RNA interference (RNAi) pathway is a potent antiviral defense mechanism in plants and invertebrates, in response to which viruses evolved suppressors of RNAi. In mammals, the first line of defense is mediated by the type I interferon system (IFN); however, the degree to which RNAi contributes to antiviral defense is still not completely understood. Recent work suggests that antiviral RNAi is active in undifferentiated stem cells and that antiviral RNAi can be uncovered in differentiated cells in which the IFN system is inactive or in infections with viruses lacking putative viral suppressors of RNAi. In this review, we describe the mechanism of RNAi and its antiviral functions in insects and mammals. We draw parallels and highlight differences between (antiviral) RNAi in these classes of animals and discuss open questions for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmission Dynamics of Insect Viruses)
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