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Understanding the mechanism of Chikungunya virus vector competence in three species of mosquitoes

A Ghosh, T Mullapudi, S Bomanna, B K Tyagi, V Ravi, A Desai
Medical and Veterinary Entomology 2019 March 26
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is primarily transmitted by Aedes spp. mosquitoes. The present study investigated vector competence for CHIKV in Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes found in Madurai, South India. The role of receptor proteins on midguts contributing to permissiveness of CHIKV to Aedes spp. mosquitoes was also undertaken. Mosquitoes were orally infected with CHIKV DRDE-06. Infection of midguts and dissemination to heads was confirmed by immunofluorescence assay at different time points. A plaque assay was performed from mosquito homogenates at different time points to study CHIKV replication. Presence of putative CHIKV receptor proteins on mosquito midgut epithelial cells was detected by virus overlay protein binding assay (VOPBA). The identity of these proteins was established using mass spectrometry. CHIKV infection of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus midguts and dissemination to heads was observed to be similar. A plaque assay performed with infected mosquito homogenates revealed that CHIKV replication dynamics was similar in Aedes sp. mosquitoes until 28 days post infection. VOPBA performed with mosquito midgut membrane proteins revealed that prohibitin could serve as a putative CHIKV receptor on Aedes mosquito midguts, whereas an absence of CHIKV binding protein/s on Culex quinquefasciatus midguts can partially explain the non-permissiveness of these mosquitoes to infection.


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