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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2004 Jan;70(1):89-97.

Analysis of the replication kinetics of the ChimeriVax-DEN 1, 2, 3, 4 tetravalent virus mixture in Aedes aegypti by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction.

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  • 1Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521, USA.


The vector competence of mosquitoes for chimeric viruses being developed as vaccines to protect against dengue (DEN) virus infection were evaluated in a cooperative agreement with Acambis, Inc. Chimeric viruses have been constructed that contain the premembrane (prM) and envelope (E) genes of each of the wild-type (wt) DEN virus serotypes, DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4, in the yellow fever (YF) vaccine virus (strain 17D) YF-VAX backbone. It was previously shown that the replication profile of ChimeriVax-DEN2 virus in Aedes albopictus C6/36 cells and in vivo in Ae. aegypti mosquitoes corresponded to that of YF-VAX virus; replication was restricted in C6/36 cells, and Ae. aegypti were poorly infected via an artificial infectious blood meal. Thus, there is very little risk of transmission by mosquitoes of ChimeriVax-DEN2 vaccine virus through the bite of a mosquito. However, because ChimeriVax-DEN 1, 2, 3, 4 viruses will be administered to humans simultaneously, growth of a mixture of ChimeriVax-DEN 1, 2, 3, 4 viruses was assessed in both C6/36 cells in culture and in the Ae. aegypti mosquito, which is the primary vector of both YF and DEN viruses. Mosquitoes were intrathoracically (IT) inoculated with virus or fed a virus-laden blood meal, and the replication kinetics of ChimeriVax-DEN 1, 2, 3, 4 were compared with the wt DEN and YF-VAX viruses. A quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay was developed as a method to detect and differentiate replication of each of the four ChimeriVax-DEN serotypes in the ChimeriVax-DEN 1, 2, 3, 4 tetravalent mixture. Growth of the chimeric viruses in C6/36 cells and in IT-inoculated Ae. aegypti was lower than that of YF-VAX virus; in previous studies Ae. aegypti was shown to be refractory to infection by YF-VAX virus. The growth rate of each chimeric virus was similar whether it was a single serotype infection, or part of the tetravalent mixture, and no interference by one chimeric virus over another chimeric serotype was observed. ChimeriVax-DEN viruses infected mosquitoes poorly via an infectious blood meal compared with wt DEN viruses. Therefore, it is unlikely that a mosquito feeding on a viremic vaccinee, would become infected with the chimeric viruses. Thus, there is very little potential for transmission by mosquitoes of the ChimeriVax-DEN vaccine viruses.

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