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Insect Mol Biol. 2001 Oct;10(5):397-405.

Aedes aegypti transducing densovirus pathogenesis and expression in Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae larvae.

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Colorado State University Department of Microbiology, Fort Collins 80523, USA.


Aedes aegypti densovirus (AeDNV) is a small DNA virus that has been developed into an expression and transducing vector for mosquitoes [Afanasiev et al. (1994) Exp Parasitol 79: 322-339; Afanasiev et al. (1999) Virology 257: 62-72; Carlson et al. (2000) Insect Transgenesis: Methods and Applications (Handler, A.M. & James, A.A., eds), pp. 139-159. CRC Press, Boca Raton]. Virions carrying a recombinant genome expressing the GFP gene were used to characterize the pathogenesis of the virus in 255 individual Aedes aegypti larvae. The anal papillae of the larvae were the primary site of infection confirming previous observations (Afanasiev etal., 1999; Allen-Muira et al. (1999) Virology 257: 54-61). GFP expression was observed in most cases to spread from the anal papillae to cells of the fat body, and subsequently to many other tissues including muscle fibers and nerves. Infected anal papillae were also observed to shrink, or melanize and subsequently fall off in a virus dependent manner. Three to four day-old larvae were less susceptible to viral infection and, if infected, were more likely to survive into adulthood, with 14% of them still expressing GFP as adults. Higher salt concentrations of 0.10-0.15 M inhibited viral infection. Anopheles gambiae larvae also showed infection of the anal papillae (17%) but subsequent viral dissemination did not occur. The persistence of the reporter gene expression into adulthood of Aedes aegypti indicates that transduction of mosquito larvae with recombinant AeDNV may be a means of introducing a gene of interest into a mosquito population for transient expression.

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